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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 45 | TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2015


NEWS 3

US sucked into migrant


boat crisis
Lobby groups pressure Obama
administration to punish Myanmar
over exodus of Rohingya as
thousands remain trapped on boats
floundering at sea.

NEWS 6

YMBA back to work


after dispute
Young Mens Buddhist Association is
to resume its activities after nearly a
year, following an investigation into
allegations of corruption.
BUSINESS 8

Tax to be levied on
mobile top-ups
A 5 percent commercial tax on telecom
services will be officially enforced
starting June 1. The tax is on the books
but has not been enforced due to a
sector-wide exemption.
BUSINESS 9

PAGE

PHOTO: AFP

Survivors from human smuggling boats sleep in a centre in Indonesias Aceh province
where nearly 2000 Myanmar and Bangladeshi migrants are taking temporary shelter.
Yesterday Myanmar announced a willingness to take a part in finding a regional solution as
Thailand prepares to host a summit to address the ongoing trafficking crisis.

Mitsubishi and Hitachi to


invest in Myanmar trains
The sometimes seemingly endless
journey by train from Yangon to
Mandalay may be sped up, with help
from Japan in the shape of projects to
upgrade and modernise the line.

China urged to control border


Information minister U Ye Htut signals growing frustration with China over the Kokang border war where the
Tatmadaw is pressing its offensive, asking how ethnic Chinese insurgents are obtaining weapons and food. NEWS 4

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 19, 2015

NLD eyes
ethnic rep
positions
Party plans to contest most seats in ethnic minority
areas, including coveted ethnic minister positions

YE MON

Yangon residents take a small sampan across the river to Dala. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Yangon-Dala bridge on track


after compensation deal
SHWEGU THITSAR
khaingsabainyein@gmail.com
A DEAL on compensation for local
residents seems to have unlocked
the way to the long-awaited bridge
over the Yangon River linking downtown Yangon with Dala township.
U Kyaw Myint Oo, chair of the
Dala Township Development Committee, told The Myanmar Times
over the weekend that a compromise
had been reached with residents affected by the proposed Yangon-Dala
Overbridge, which is envisaged as
a symbol of the friendship between
Myanmar and South Korea.
The agreement was sealed on
May 16 at a monastery in west
Kamar Kasit ward of Dala township
at a meeting attended by local parliamentarians U Hla Tun Oo, U Htay
Shein and U Than Hlaing, along
with government and township officials and Dala residents.
We reached a compromise with
no objections. We have submitted it
to parliament for approval. Once we
get the green light, we will organise
a committee to pay compensation.
This is a five-year project, said U
Kyaw Myint Oo.
Myanmar and South Korea
agreed to build the bridge in 2012,
said U Han Soe, director general
of the Ministry of Construction.

Construction is expected to begin


this year and run for five years, but
the project still requires parliamentary approval.
The estimated cost is US$168
million, of which South Korea will
provide $138 million and Myanmar
$30 million, which will be funded
from a long-term, low-interest loan.
Dala is currently reachable by ferry from Pansodan Jetty, or on small
sampan boats. The only road access
is via a bridge over the Yangon River
to Hlaing Tharyar a roundabout
route that few use. A car ferry also
crosses the river to Dala about 10
times a day.
U Han Soe said President U
Thein Sein signed an agreement to
build the bridge during a visit to
South Korea in 2012.
Dala is the gateway both to Ayeyarwady Region and Yangon Region.
Thats why we want the bridge to be
built. The surveying and measurement started long ago, and now it
can go ahead, he said.
The government has yet to announce how many houses are included in the project area but surveys
have been conducted on both sides
of Bo Min Yaung Road in Kamar Kasit ward. The approach road to the
bridge will be about 40 metres (130
feet) wide, requiring an extra 4m of
land on either side of the road.

The bridge will link Bo Min


Yaung Road to Phone Gyi Road the
southern continuation of Pyay Road
on the downtown Yangon side of
the river.
U Tin Hlaing, chair of the community support committee for Dala
township, told The Myanmar Times
that compensation would be calculated to ensure public satisfaction.
A monastery, a Buddha image,
some houses, a school and other
structures are in the project area. We
have a plan to compensate the owners satisfactorily on the basis of our
negotiations. We hope this will go
ahead this year, said U Tin Hlaing.
Sayadaw U Athika of west Kamar
Kasit wards monastery said they
would agree to move the image of
the seated Buddha provided an alternative site was offered.
This project seems to be good
for the community, so there is no
reason to object if we receive an alternative plot of land, he said.
Ko Than Htay of Kamar Kasit
ward, whose property is also included in the project area, said he
believed the authorities would offer
proper compensation. If they do I
think we should accept it, he said.
This will be good for our township.
I think public services will improve
once the bridge is completed.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

LUN MIN MANG

A SENIOR National League for Democracy members says the party


plans to contest seats for ethnic affairs ministers in this years election,
as well as national and regional seats
in ethnic minority areas. However,
the party has not ruled out staying
away from some minority constituencies based on agreements with other
parties.
U Tun Tun Hein, a member of the
partys central executive committee,
said the party planned to contest
all seats in the election, but had not
made a final decision.
I think the central executive committee will decide after the date for
the election is announced, he said.
We will negotiate with ethnic parties
if we contest the ethnic affairs ministers positions. But we will try to win
all constituencies.
Similarly, he said no decisions had
been made on candidates, and the
partys 43 serving MPs may be asked
to contest different seats in this years
vote or could be left off the candidate list altogether.
Candidates must be liked by voters this is our priority. The central
executive committee will decide who
should contest where. We will prioritise female and youth candidates.
The decision to contest ethnic minority seats was expected, but is still
likely to antagonise some minority
parties who believe the NLD represents only ethnic Bamar interests.
To reduce the chances of either
an NLD or Union Solidarity and Development Party victory in minority
areas, some ethnic parties are negotiating to avoid fielding candidates
against each other, which would split
the vote under Myanmars first-pastthe-post system.
But Daw Chin Chin, director of the
Nationalities Brotherhood Federation
an alliance of about 20 ethnic parties and a member of Chin National
Development Party, said the USDP
and NLD should avoid running in
ethnic minority constituencies completely if they want to secure national unity.

Most ethnic politicians are resigned to the fact they will be competing against the NLD in November.
U Zaw Aye Maung, the incumbent
minister for the Rakhine ethnic affairs for Yangon Region, said any party had the right to contest the ethnic
minister posts, but he was confident
that that the Rakhine people will select him again.
His party, the Rakhine National
Party, has already announced plans
to contest 75 constituencies in this
years election, and is expected to be
one of the strongest ethnic minority parties. As well as national and
regional seats in Rakhine State, it
will contest the Rakhine minister
positions in Yangon and Ayeyarwady
regions.

29

Ethnic affairs ministers voted in


at the 2010 election

The constitution allows minority groups with a population of more


than 0.1 percent of the total national
population about 60,000 in 2010
in a single state or region to elect a
representative to the state or region
legislature. These representatives are
then also members of the state or region government. Twenty-nine ethnic
minister positions were contested in
2010.
While the NLD says it plans to
contest the seats, it may refrain
from those coveted by members of
the United Nationalities Alliance,
an ethnic grouping with which it is
associated.
U Sai Nyunt Lwin, secretary of the
Shan Nationalities League for Democracy a UNA member said his
party would negotiate with the NLD
first before deciding to contest any of
the ethnic affairs minister positions.
We dont plan to contest many of
them in the election though, he said.
Our main focus is Shan and Kachin
states and Mandalay Region. We will
negotiate with [the NLD] over the
constituencies.

DMH monitors impact of El Nio on post-monsoon period


AYE SAPAY PHYU
ayephyu2006@gmail.com
METEOROLOGISTS are keeping an
eye out for possible storms as forecasters in the United States predict a high
chance of El Nio conditions through
the summer and into the autumn of
the northern hemisphere.
El Nio is characterised by a warming of the surface waters of the Pacific
Ocean that occurs once every four to
seven years and affects weather across
the globe.
The intensity of the El Nio condition is carefully monitored to predict

its impact on post-monsoon weather


in Myanmar, said U Kyaw Lwin Oo, director of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, yesterday.
He said sea surface temperatures
in the central Pacific had risen by 0.2
Celsius over the past two weeks, as international forecasters upgraded the
likelihood of an El Nio condition.
We need to monitor the intensity
of El Nio to know its effect on the
weather in the Southeast Asian region.
There will be no El Nio effect this
month. A weak El Nio will not have
a significant impact on this country.
But a strong El Nio in the next two

A strong El Nio
in the next two
months could bring
drier-than-normal
weather postmonsoon.
U Kyaw Lwin Oo
Department of Meteorology

months could bring drier-than-normal


weather post-monsoon, through the
winter and into 2016, he said.
U Kyaw Lwin Oo said that as of
May 12, sea surface temperature
(SST) in the central Pacific was 1 to
1.2C warmer than average, a possible indicator of the condition known
as an El Nio Southern Oscillation
(ENSO).
The weekly ENSO update issued by
the Climate Prediction Center of the
United States National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
on May 11 predicted a 90 percent
chance that El Nio conditions would

continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer, and a greater than


80pc chance that it would last through
the autumn.
A statement from the South Asian
Climate Outlook Forum released on
April 23 said El Nio conditions could
strengthen further during the latter
part of the monsoon season. El Nio
conditions are known typically to
weaken the South Asian southwest
monsoon circulation and adversely
impact rainfall across the region.
However, their impact on the regional
rainfall distribution varies from year
to year.

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

US-Myanmar relations under


scrutiny as boat crisis deepens
LAIGNEE
BARRON
laignee@gmail.com

IN the midst of sectarian violence


raging in Rakhine State in 2012, President Barack Obama, as the first sitting US president to visit Myanmar,
shamed the nation for its treatment
of the Rohingya minority.
Today, we look at the recent
violence in Rakhine State that has
caused so much suffering, and we
see the danger of continued tensions
there, he told a packed auditorium
at Yangon University. There is no
excuse for violence against innocent
people.
Three years later, at the 11th
hour of a migration crisis born of
such continued tensions and with
thousands of lives of Rohingya and
Bangladeshi Muslims at stake, lobby
groups are attacking the US for not
coming down harder on an issue
it has repeatedly called a policy
priority.
The Obama administrations response to this crisis, calling on Thailand and Malaysia to enforce human
trafficking laws, has been wholly inadequate and counterproductive by
ignoring the root cause of the problem, said Washington-based rights
group United to End Genocide.
The US is being implicated in the
crisis in part, experts say, because
the State Departments Trafficking in
Persons Report has placed extreme
pressures on the region, including embarrassing Thailand into a crackdown
that disrupted the well-worn human
smuggling route and precipitated the
current inability of boats packed with
starving migrants to disembark.
Certainly Thailands embarrassment over being listed in tier 3 [the
bottom ranking on the TIP report]
has goaded Bangkok into action to
stop human trafficking, with Prime
Minister Prayuth making this a national-level priority, said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human
Rights Watch Asia division. And
now with Thailand joining Malaysia
and Indonesia in refusing to let these
boats land, where in the world can
these boat people go? They are truly
forsaken.
The Obama administrations
warming relations with Myanmar
have repeatedly come under scrutiny,

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with President U Thein Sein during
meetings at the White House in 2013. Photo: AFP

especially as sanctions began to lift


in 2011 conditional on Nay Pyi Taws
commitment to improving its human
rights record, including in Rakhine.
Both the EU and the US have
previously called on Myanmar to
address the Rohingya citizenship
issue as part of their conditions for
re-engaging with the country. Yet
there have been no discernible consequences for Myanmars failure to
do so, said Hanna Hindstrom of the
Minority Rights Group.
However, in announcing his authority to extend some sanctions
on Myanmar through the National
Emergencies Act on May 15, President Obama named abuses in ethnic
minority areas and Rakhine State
as contributing to the decision. His
statement however did not specifically mention the Rohingya whom
the Myanmar government refers to as
Bengali.
At a press briefing on the same
day as the emergencies act announcement, US State Department
spokesperson Jeff Rathke declined
to outline what kind of pressure
steps would be used to engage Nay
Pyi Taw to stem the crisis and tackle
the factors driving more than 25,000
people, according to UN estimates, to
flee from the Bay of Bengal on dangerous smuggling voyages in the first
three months of this year.
Will we decide to disengage with
Burma because we have a disagreement over their approach to the Rohingya? No, we will remain engaged
with Burma, he said.
Mr Ratkhe added that US ambassadors to various countries in the

region, including Myanmar, have


engaged in talks with the relevant
governments over the maritime crisis, and have urged the need for immediate search and rescue missions.
In a separate statement also issued on May 15, the White House
pressed the region to save the lives of
those at left at sea. So far the call has
gone largely unanswered. Myanmars
refusal to commit itself to accepting
invitations to regional dialogue on

Will we ... disengage


with Burma
because we have a
disagreement over ...
Rohingya? No.
Jeff Rathke
US State Department

the issue has prompted demands for


Western governments to ramp up the
pressure and even revert to further
sanctions.
International governments engaging with the Myanmar state must
make very clear that ongoing discrimination and persecution of its
people is utterly unacceptable and
will have consequences, said Alicia
de la Cour Venning of the UK-based
International State Crime Initiative, a research centre which alleges
the Rohingya are on the brink of

genocide.
But others say further sanctions
are unlikely and unhelpful.
Sanctions were in the past massively counterproductive, said Derek
Tonkin, former British ambassador
to Thailand and Vietnam.
In Europe we are faced with the
even greater problem of boat refugees from all over North Africa leaving to find a better life in Europe and
no one is suggesting that sanctions
have any role to play.
Instead, offering enticements and
monetary aid has been suggested as
a better incentive for Myanmar to
show flexibility.
Unless the US holds out the
sweetener of much more economic
assistance to make up for Myanmar
swallowing the bitter pill of recognising the Rohingya as more than
a mere domestic issue then Nay Pyi
Taw is unlikely to be convinced that
it should come to the dialogue table
and address the Rohingya, said Paul
Chambers, director of research at the
Chiang Mai-based Institute of South
East Asian Affairs.
While the upcoming elections in
Myanmar contribute to the governments reluctance to create any sort
of domestic political upheaval that
could sway the vote, stability in Rakhine State also has implications
for the US 2016 elections, according
to Elliot Brennan, a research fellow
with the Institute for Security and
Development Policys Asia Program
in Sweden.
The Democrats are aware that
for Hillary Clintons campaign, Myanmars opening will be significant
in demonstrating her achievements
as secretary of state. Clinton played
an important role in the warming of
US-Myanmar relations. As such
the unresolved plight of the Rohingya will make difficult the 2016 campaign for the Democrats, he said.
With the Rohingya smuggling
route cast in a spotlight that doesnt
appear to be moving, and both the US
and regional governments mounting
pressure, Mr Brennan warned that
an isolationist outlook in Myanmar
over the now regional issue will
have dangerous consequences.
Nay Pyi Taw, with many problems already on its plate, would be
wise to reassess how this may affect
their relations within the region and
further afield. The US, which has put
much faith in the current government, will play an important role in
this calculation, he said.

News 3

Election law
amendments
put to MPs
HTOO THANT
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com
DRAFT laws amending electoral provisions to revoke the right of temporary
citizens to vote were yesterday put before parliament. The drafts submitted
by the Union Election Commission,
covering elections to the two houses of
parliament and the states and regions,
will strip the former white-card holders of the right to vote.
Holders of white cards, which were
issued to Myanmar residents whose
citizenship was in doubt, voted in the
last election. But the constitutional tribunal subsequently found that allowing them to vote was unconstitutional.
The cards were declared void, and immigration officials have been collecting them for cancellation. Most white
cards were held by Rohingya.
UEC member U Win Ko submitted
to hluttaw the second amended bill for
the Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law, the
second amended bill for the Amyotha
Hluttaw Election Law and the second
amended bill for the Region/State
Election Law.
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw instructed
the Union Election Commission on
February 26 to put forward amended
bills in accordance with the judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal.
The amended bills omit the wording
temporary identity card holders in
the relevant sections, he said.
The Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee has recommended that hluttaw
approve the amendment bills without
change, though MPs wishing to discuss the matter have been asked to
register by May 21.
Former white-card holders are also
expected to be disqualified to vote
in the referendum on constitutional
amendment provisionally scheduled
for next month.
According to todays amendment
bill, white-card holders may not vote
in the hluttaw elections, U Win Ko
told the media, adding that an amendment bill cancelling the right of former white-card holders to vote in the
referendum had also been put forward
to hluttaw.
In response to a further question,
he said Union ministers and their
deputies were not obliged to resign
their posts when competing in the
election.
The constitution says only that
ministers or deputy ministers are not
allowed to conduct political party activities, and if they are MPs they must
resign their seat, he said.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Myanmar shows willingness to help tackle trafficking


YE MON
GUY DINMORE
LAIGNEE BARRON
newsroom@mmtimes.com
WITH thousands of people abandoned
to a grim fate at sea and no government
wanting to allow them off what the UN
has called boat coffins, the Myanmar
government yesterday showed the first
sign of flexibility in what has otherwise
been a rigid dismissal of its role in the
crisis.
We understand there are concerns
about the international community
about the people on the sea, some arriving to the ASEAN member countries,
U Ye Htut, information minister and
spokesperson for the Presidents Office, said to media after a closed-door
government briefing of diplomats in
Yangon yesterday.
Some of them are said to come
from Myanmar. Some are said to come
from Bangladesh. First, we have to setup the verification process. If they are

from Myanmar and they have enough


evidence to prove they are Myanmar we
must be ready to bring back our people, he said.
The opposition NLD also chose yesterday to make an uncharacteristically
bold statement over the ongoing crisis.
If they are not accepted [as citizens] they cannot just be sent onto
rivers, cant be pushed out to sea. They
are humans, said U Nyan Win, an NLD
spokesperson.
His comments came as thousands
of Rohingya and Bangladeshis continue to be stuck at sea while Malaysia
and Indonesia already accommodating a combined nearly 3000 people
rescued from abandoned boats deny
anyone else permission to disembark,
in what the UN has said is a violation
of international maritime law and
moral responsibility to rescue people
stuck at sea.
Thailands Deputy Prime Minister
Prawit Wongsuwon told state-run media that the boats will be allowed to land

U Ye Htut speaks to press. Photo: AFP

in Thai territory, but the passengers will


be prosecuted as illegal entrants if they
choose to do so.

The prime minister of Thailand


warned that if more of the migrants arrive they may take jobs from Thai people, while Indonesias military chief said
they would cause social issues and
Malaysias deputy home minister said
accepting one boat will send a green
light to thousands more who cannot be
flooding our shores.
Yesterday fighting was reported
by AFP to have erupted on vessels left
without food or water. At least 100 were
estimated to have been killed during
the skirmish. The International Organisation for Migration said on some
boats the passengers have been forced
to drink their own urine to survive.
Just a day after Malaysia threatened
to hold an emergency ASEAN session if
Myanmar does not engage in the issue,
U Ye Htut warned against Myanmar
being singled out for what he said is a
human trafficking problem that the
region should be working together to
cooperatively solve.
He would not confirm yesterday

whether Myanmar would be attending


a regional summit in Bangkok on May
29. He said it would be up to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
U Zaw Htay, director of the Presidents Office, has previously said that
Myanmar will not be attending the
dialogue if the word Rohingya the
government uses Bengali is on the
invitation. He also told the New York
Times that he had ruled out internationalising the issue through regional
dialogues.
However, a diplomat who attended
the closed-door briefing yesterday said
the government left the impression that
it was willing to be part of a regional solution to the crisis and would consider
taking part in the conference called by
Thailand for May 29.
They did not go so far as to recognise they are the source of the problem,
but they say it is a regional problem
and they are part of the region, but not
a root cause, said the diplomat who
asked not to be named.

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 19, 2015

Myanmar calls on China to


strengthen border control
YE MON

GUY DINMORE

MYANMAR yesterday signalled its


growing frustration with China over
the border war in the Kokang region by calling on its neighbour to
strengthen controls along the rugged frontier to prevent infiltration by
insurgents.
U Ye Htut, information minister
and presidential spokesperson, told
reporters that the government wanted
to know how the ethnic Chinese rebels
in Kokang were sourcing weapons and
food supplies.
Myanmar protects the border but
our country cant do it alone. China
also needs to protect the border together with Myanmar, the minister
said after briefing foreign diplomats,
including Chinese envoys, at the Myanmar Peace Center in Yangon.
If China doesnt, then it can happen again that shells fall [across the
border]. China should protect the area
so that Kokang rebels do not occupy
the border, U Ye Htut said.
The minister was referring to an
incident on May 14 when five civilians inside China were wounded by
artillery fire that Beijing suspects
came from the Tatmadaw. Myanmar
has agreed to investigate the incident.
China warned Myanmar in March that
it could face resolute and decisive
measures after a Tatmadaw aircraft
killed five Chinese villagers in a crossborder strike.
Fighting that began in Kokang in
Shan State in early February has recently intensified along hills close to
the border with Chinas Yunnan province. Diplomats said U Ye Htuts comments reflected Myanmars concerns
that the ethnic Chinese insurgents of
the Myanmar National Democratic
Alliance Army (MNDAA) were being
aided across the border, possibly by
local interests acting against the official policy of non-interference set by
Beijing.
A source close to the MNDAA said
the groups fighters remained inside

Tatmadaw shells hit a hilltop held by Kokang rebels close to the border with China last week. Photo: Ministry of Information

Myanmar and it was not sourcing food


and weapons from China. The source
said MNDAA forces did not enter Chinese territory and would be arrested
if they did.
But the official Global New Light
of Myanmar yesterday accused the
Kokang rebels and their allies of using vast stockpiles of narcotics to pay
the medical expenses of wounded
fighters treated in a Chinese hospital
in the border town of Nansan. Drugs
were also sold to pay compensation for
mercenaries killed in battle, the newspaper said.
The articles main focus of attack,
however, was the United Wa State
Army (UWSA). An ally of the Kokang
forces, the UWSA is the most powerful armed ethnic group in Myanmar
with a reported 30,000 fighters and an
economy closely integrated with Yunnan province.

Readers were reminded that eight


UWSA leaders were indicted in the US
in 2005 on heroin and methamphetamine trafficking charges.
The article carried distinctly antiChinese overtones with the author, believed to be writing under a pen name,
noting that ethnic Chinese were occupying official posts in the Wa self-administered border zone, where local
culture is being swallowed and overwhelmed by the Chinese one.
Official language is Chinese and
circulating money is Chinese renminbi while local dialect and literature are also becoming Chinese. Now
is the time to monitor if they are all
real ethnic Wa tribesmen or if they are
Chinese people pretending to be Wa,
the article said.
The UWSA hosted a conference of
select armed ethnic leaders in its border enclave of Pangkham in the first

week of May, ostensibly to discuss


the draft nationwide ceasefire accord
signed by government representatives
and negotiators for 16 armed groups
on March 31.
The meeting ended with a communiqu reiterating UWSA demands for
a separate state and for the inclusion
of the Kokang groups in the nationwide ceasefire accord. Responding to
the Wa demands for a separate state,
the newspaper said it could be assumed that the UWSA was willing to
engage a military challenge.
The source close to the MNDAA
said fighting in Kokang had subsided
yesterday. However, the Tatmadaws
claim to have captured the Point 2202
hill post on May 14 after intense battles was disputed by the Taang National Liberation Army, which is allied
to the MNDAA. The group said its
forces were still on the hill.

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Ceasefire accord dominates talks

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THE governments goal of signing a nationwide ceasefire accord and launching a political dialogue with ethnic
groups before the November elections
dominated a meeting yesterday between President U Thein Sein and representatives of 71 parties.
We are now waiting for the result
of the NCCT summit. If they agree we
are ready sign the nationwide ceasefire
accord, the president told party leaders meeting in Yangons regional parliament building.
The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team representing 16 armed ethnic
groups signed a draft ceasefire accord
with government negotiators on March
31, but the accord still needs to be endorsed by leaders of the ethnic armed
groups. The NCCT has said it hopes to
meet before the end of the month.
U Aung Min, minister and leader
of the government negotiating team,
earlier told foreign diplomats that he
remained hopeful the accord would be
probably signed in June.
U Thein Sein reiterated that it was
important to start a political dialogue

Leaders of ethnic parties attend talks with U Thein Sein. Photo: Aungmyin Yezaw

with the ethnic groups before parliamentary elections are held.


As you are now preparing the
framework for political dialogue, I request you all to cooperate so that political dialogue can be held in time, he
said.
Holding free and fair elections
would be a milestone event in the
countrys transition, he said. I hope all
parties would contest these elections
and we also hope that the genuine result from elections would reflect the

peoples will, he added.


Party representatives said they also
wanted to see the NCA signed as soon
as possible as the accord was an important element in holding free and fair
elections. The question remains, however, whether the nationwide ceasefire would also cover the conflict in the
Kokang region of Shan State.
U Sai Aik Paung, head of the Shan
Nationalities Development party, said
some areas in Shan State were not secure and would not be able to hold a

vote. They can vote when the NCA really happens. If they could not vote in
elections, it is difficult to say they are
free and fair, he said.
He urged the president to decentralise the system of government.
Although the president has spoken
of decentralisation for two years, the
state government remains too centralised, said U Sai Aik Paung, requesting
the president to issue directives.
Union Solidarity and Development
Party central committee member Thura U Aye Myint asked the president
and the Union Election Commission to
ensure security during the campaign
and on election day. Security matter
is the most important part of elections.
The commission should announce how
they will make the elections secure, he
said.
U Saw Than Myint, central committee member of the Federal Union Party,
asked the main parties to lend support
to smaller parties based in ethnic areas
in forming state parliaments and administrations after the elections.
The president said he welcomed all
comments from the parties but admitted that it was not easy to fulfill all their
needs.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 19, 2015

Villagers
hold ethnic
Chinese
over coal
project
KHIN SU WAI
jasminekhin@gmail.com

A man rides a bicycle past the Young Mens Buddhist Association headquarters in Pazundaung township yesterday. Photo: Thiri

Leading Buddhist organisation


resumes activities after dispute
Young Mens Buddhist Association had been forced to halt its work for newly a year due to investigation

SANDAR
LWIN
sdlsandar@gmail.com

THE Young Mens Buddhist Association (YMBA) is to resume its activities following an investigation into
allegations of corruption levelled by
senior members.
The venerable organisation,
which was associated with the
struggle for independence, suspended normal activities during the
investigation, which essentially dismissed the allegations but focused
on rebuilding unity among divided
senior members.
The accusations included misuse
of YMBA property and the altering
of results of exams organised by the
association.
Following the emergence of
the accusations last June, a tribunal led by the deputy head of the

General Administration Department of Yangons eastern district


was established to look into them.
The tribunal, which comprised
district-level officials, including the
police, reported to Yangon Regions
Chief Minister in March with recommendations, which included
holding a conference to form a
new central executive committee
through elections.
Last August, the five patrons
of the YMBA formed a guardian committee together with nine
members of its central executive
committee to keep the organisation
ticking over.
The Yangon Region chief minister has instructed the head of the
Yangon Region branch of the directorate of religious affairs of the
Ministry of Religious Affairs, U Sein
Maung, to help restore unity to the
associations leadership.
The dispute focused only on the
activities of the central executive
committee, but had wider implications because the associations

MANDALAY IN BRIEF
Two townships to vote again for
municipal representatives

Voters in Mandalay will have a second


chance to elect representatives for
two of the citys townships. Elections
conducted on May 3 failed to produce
winning candidates for Aung Myay Thar
San and Chan Mya Tharsi townships
to serve on the citys development
committee.
The latest election will take place
on June 7, the head of the election
commission told The Myanmar Times
on May 17.
In Chan Mya Tharsi, the result of
the May 3 election was voided because
fewer than 50 percent of eligible voters
took part. In Aung Myay Thar San,
there were no candidates.
Eight hopefuls have now emerged to
contest the two seats, according to the
commission. Mg Zaw, translation by
Zar Zar Soe

Activists sentences reduced


by two months on appeal

Three activists jailed for staging an


illegal protest against electricity prices
have had their sentences reduced by
two months.
A fourth activist jailed with them
decided not to appeal the original
sentence of six months prison with
hard labour.
Ko Thein Aung Myint and Ko Saw Hla
Aung from the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF) and two
locals, Ko Kyaw Myo Tun and Ma Khet
Khet Tin, were charged following the
March 27, 2014, protest.
A Chan Aye Thar San Township
Court judge jailed them all for six
months, but Ko Saw Hla Aung, Ko
Kyaw Myo Tun and Ma Khet Khet Tin
had their sentences reduced on appeal
to four months. Mg Zaw, translation
by Khant Lin Oo

activities were halted for a year as a


result of the investigation.
U Sein Maung convened the
28 members of the last executive
committee including both accusers and those accused of corruption on May 6 to urge unity and
to inform them of the tribunals
recommendations.
U Sein Maung refused to reveal
the nature of those recommendations to The Myanmar Times. However, it appears that the association
has agreed to hold an annual conference, which was skipped last year, to
elect a new executive committee, an
executive body member said.
The conference is scheduled
for July. The guardian body and patron group will organise it, said U
Thaung Win, the secretary of the old
executive body.
We will widely publicise the
election, and circulate a list of candidates at least a month ahead of
the conference, said U Tin Oo, the
secretary of the guardian body.
We want a new generation to

take part in the election. We want to


transfer the association to the new
generation.
Former vice-president of the association U Thein Lwin and three
ex-members of the central executive
committee, U Myat Soe (Hlaing), U
Aye Myint, and U Soe Shein, made
the original complaints.
Both sides told The Myanmar
Times that they accepted the findings and were keen to move on.
Of course we will take part in
the election because we love this association, said U Myat Soe (Hlaing),
one of the complainants. U Aye Myint will take part as well, but I dont
know about the others.
The Young Mens Buddhist Association was founded in 1906 and
took a leading role in favour of
independence and the expression
of national spirit throughout the
colonial era. It has more than 40
branches across the country and
the last CEC was formed with one
president, four vice presidents and
23 members.

ANGRY villagers protesting against


a planned coal project in Kale township in Sagaing Region briefly detained four Myanmar-Chinese men
and their two Chin guides in a confrontation with a mining company.
Villagers told The Myanmar
Times that the incident happened
on May 9 as more than 400 people
from four villages protested against
the planned mining of Nga Hill for
environmental reasons. The six men
were held for two hours.
It was serious. We intervened as
the locals thought that foreigners
had come to their land but actually
they were Myanmar-born Chinese,
from Kutkai in Shan State, Ko Kyaw
Thet Win, chair of the Upper Chindwin Youth Network, said.
Yaeshin Sayadaw, a local monk,
said it was the fourth time that people from the company had come
to the villagers land, causing tempers to reach boiling point. He said
there were nine villages in the area
of Nga Hill, each with about 300
households.
Our local youths are not afraid
to kill to protect their land, the sayadaw said.
Villagers were afraid that soon
machines would arrive to mine the
coal, just as a Chinese-backed company had done at the Letpandaung
copper mine in central Myanmar, he
said.
Ingyin, a Chin company involved
in the planned mine, was not available for comment.
The monk said that five days before the incident, company workers
had come with land registry officials.
I warned them, Dont come to our
place. But they did it again.
District administrator U Chit Too
told The Myanmar Times that he
had issued a notice telling the companies that they must notify the local
administration before visiting the
proposed sites.
The problem is that the company didnt get any permit for the coal
project, he said.
There are an estimated 20 coal
mining ventures in Kale. Environmental groups and local people have
issued many complaints about the
projects.

Police make arrests over


bodies found beside highway
TOE WAI AUNG
newsroom@mmtimes.com
TWO brothers whose badly stabbed
bodies were dumped beside the Yangon-Bago Highway on May 5 were
killed because they allegedly cheated
a number of people out of tens of
thousands of dollars, according to
police. Four men have been arrested
on suspicion of murder, while a fifth
remains on the run.
The bodies of U Nyunt Wai, 52,
from South Okkalapa township, and U
Nyunt Swe, 55, from Sanchaung township, were found near Intagaw in Bago
Region. Their hands were bound and
they had been stabbed repeatedly with
a sabre knife, police said.
Following an investigation, police

detained three men from Hlaing township. Another alleged accomplice was
arrested in Hpa-an, while a fifth man,
whom police say is a former member
of the Karen National Union from Dawei, remains at large.
The alleged murderers told police
that U Nyunt Wai worked for an employment agency called Kyaw Kyaw
Naing Family Technological Services,
and had accepted K11.5 million from
each of them to place them in jobs
in Japan.
However, he later advised them to
take a course in Yangon and didnt
send them to Japan.
Four of them later filed a complaint with police, accusing the
brothers and company owner U
Kyaw Kyaw Naing of cheating and

dishonestly inducing delivery of


property under section 420 of the
criminal code.
However, police say the group
decided to take the law into their
own hands when one of the men was
forced to pawn his home to pay back
the money he borrowed to pay the
placement fee to the company.
Police say U Kyaw Kyaw Naings
whereabouts are unknown.
The bodies of U Nyunt Wai and U
Nyunt Swe were found by a 15-yearold girl, who said she saw a Toyota
Probox stop beside the highway and
leave them beside the road.
Police said the vehicle had passed
through a toll gate on the outskirts of
Bago just before the men were dumped.
Translation by Khant Lin Oo

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Time running out for political dialogue

HE May 1-6 meeting of ethnic armed group leaders in


Pangkham, the headquarters
of the United Wa State Army
(UWSA), and the seemingly
sudden involvement of the Wa in the
peace process appears to have everyone worried.
The sources of concern are varied,
ranging from geopolitical inclinations and the omission of some ethnic
armed groups from the list of invitees
to the inclusion of three groups that
have been at loggerheads with the
government.
However, we at the Myanmar Peace
Center were not worried for two
reasons.
The UWSA wants to maintain
the status quo. It does not want war.
Ethnic armed groups have approached
the Wa many times to join their fight
against the government but they have
not agreed. It is crystal clear that the
Wa do not want to jeopardise the
stability and development they have
brought to their areas in the 26 years
since a bilateral ceasefire was signed.
They have talked about these achievements in glowing terms.
What the Wa want is not a secret.
They demand a state for the Wa within
Myanmar. They have expressed it
during many meetings. Without fail,
they raised it again in the May ethnic
summit.
Based on this knowledge, we knew
the Wa would not rock the boat by
encouraging ethnic armed groups to
fight, or join the fight of others.
Regarding the demand for a Wa
State, no one in Myanmar can give a
definite yes or no; it would be decided
through political negotiations. Or,
as some have argued, it is up to the
people of Myanmar to decide.
It is public knowledge that the
Wa issue has significant geopolitical
dimensions and implications for territorial integrity. It is also mired in the
question of legitimacy for the de-facto
Wa State. But as we have yet to negotiate politically the future of Myanmar,
the Was call for an official Wa State
cannot be settled before political
dialogue.
But there was one concern about
the summit: how it would affect the
timing of the signing of the nationwide
ceasefire agreement. Our worst fears
were confirmed the ethnic summit
at Pangkham certainly contributed to
another delay in signing the ceasefire.
Following the signing of the

Government officials brief diplomats at the Myanmar Peace Center in Yangon yesterday. Photo: AFP

AUNG
NAING OO
newsroom@mmtimes.com

draft agreement on March 31, it was


informally agreed that the Nationwide
Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT)
would meet in April to discuss the
ceasefire further, with a view to a possible signing in May. But they could
not meet due to the Was initiation of
their summit.
The NCCT will now have to rush
if it is to call a summit before the end
of May. It seems that the earliest time
for the NCCT summit would now be
the first week of June. That means the
signing of the NCA may have to be
postponed to late June or early July.
This then means that there is very
little time left to organise political
negotiations before the election.
We have worked toward an
objective of constituting the political
dialogue in August, before official election campaigning begins in September.

We have known all along that once the


election campaign begins, the peace
process will be sidetracked. Judging
by the election fever that has already
swept through Myanmar, our predictions are coming true.
It might be possible to organise the
political dialogue after the election.
But the post-election period is likely
to see key political players vying for
top positions in the government and
parliament. It will be hard to get the
attention of all those involved in the
electoral process.
The new government will have to
be formed in March 2016, but it will

If we cannot organise
political negotiations
before the election,
the process may be
delayed by anywhere
from 10 to 12 months.

likely take at least a few months for it


to become functional.
In short, if we cannot organise
political negotiations before the election, the process may be delayed by
anywhere from 10 to 12 months. If that
occurs, the earliest time the political
negotiations could begin will be July
or August 2016.
I have argued time and again that
if we have the nationwide ceasefire
in hand we could use it to cushion
against the likely negative impacts of
delaying political dialogue. Even then,
the inability to find quick political solutions could cost stakeholders dearly.
If the nationwide ceasefire process
drags on indefinitely, we could work
with 14 bilateral ceasefires and other
political stakeholders to organise
political dialogue. This would mean,
however, that not all stakeholders will
be involved in the process.
The inability to hold political talks
in August before the election will have
many repercussions, including the possible resumption of hostilities in some
ceasefire areas. Such a situation could
also harm the election.
On the whole, these repercussions

are likely to be more evident next year,


when the burden of building peace
will fall on the new government. Even
if the new government is committed
to peace, it may have to restart the
process all over again.
Sensing this, two ethnic leaders at
the conference on peace and national
reconciliation held in Yangon on May
9 echoed my views. They said that the
new government would have to start
from scratch if dialogue did not materialise before the election or during the
remainder of the current governments
term. That being the case, the peace
process will pose a significant burden
for the new administration.
Given this analysis, it is in the
interest of all stakeholders, including
ethnic armed group leaders, political
elites and those aspiring politicians
who are likely to be in the new administration after the 2015 general election, to do everything in their power to
ensure political dialogue begins before
the election.
Aung Naing Oo is director of the Peace
Dialogue Program at the Myanmar Peace
Center. Opinions expressed are his own.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

Business
Three telcos
to levy 5% tax
on top-up
CATHERINE
TRAUTWEIN
newsroom@mmtimes.com

A 5 percent commercial tax on telecom services in Myanmar will be


officially enforced starting June 1,
the Ministry of Communications
and Information Technology (MCIT)
announced May 18 at their office in
Nay Pyi Taw.
The tax, while currently on the
books, has not been enforced due to
a sector-wide exemption, said MCIT
director U Than Tun Aung.
The commercial tax has been
implemented last year but because
at that time the telecoms sector has
been tremendously improving ... the
Union Government as well as the
Parliament decided to give benefits to
the population first, so they gave the
industry a one-year exemption for the
commercial tax, he said at the Nay
Pyi Taw press event yesterday.

That exemption will close soon as


an amendment to the Commercial
Tax Law came into force on April 1,
said a MCIT press release.
Telecom customers will see the
largest difference on top-up, as SIM
cards will stay at K1500. When the
tax comes into effect, subscribers
will get less top-up bang for their
buck. For instance, customers would
receive K952 of a K1000 top-up, with
the remaining K48 going to the government tax.
Revenues generated from the tax

KYAT

1500

The official price of a SIM card from


any of the three telcos, which will not
change with the tax

Customers buy Telenor SIMs during the firms launch last year. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

will go toward health, education and


transportation projects, and development, according to U Than Tun Aung.
The 5pc commercial tax has been
selectively enforced since last year.
At the governments urging, Telenor
had applied the tax to its top-ups, but
subsidised the cost to consumers, in
effect returning the 5pc as a bonus.
When we launched our services
in September after multiple discussions with the government, we de-

cided that we would collect this tax


because the government was very
insisting that we had to collect the
tax, Petter Furberg told The Myanmar Times late last year. At the same
time, since our competitors were
not collecting the tax, we decided to
compensate the customers through a
bonus.
Ooredoo Myanmar senior manager of public relations Thiri Kyar
Nyo had said last year that Ooredoo

Myanmar was still discussing tax


with MPT and Telenor, adding all
three operators would be aligned on
the issue.
MPT, Telenor and Ooredoo have
matched the manner in which they
will pay the tax, yesterdays press release said.
Starting June 1, each of the telcos will be compelled to enforce it
equalising a field that had seen some
playing differently.

SMALL BUSINESS
Local brands more
Sliding kyat leaves online shops
competitive than
foreign firms: Anthem owners holding currency risk
KO KO AUNG
pmkokoaung@gmail.com
ANTHEM Asia will continue to seek
investment opportunities among local
companies, director Peter Witton told
The Myanmar Times.
Earlier this month, Anthem Asia
invested a six-figure US dollar sum in
mobile data collection company Xavey
Ltd, a Singapore registered entity operating out of Yangon.
The deal will see Anthem Asia eventually become the largest minority
shareholder in Xavey.
Xavey was established in December
2013 by entrepreneur Aung Sithu Kyaw
and is working with market research
and non-government organisation
(NGO) clients.
We want to invest in and back local companies and local entrepreneurs,
said Mr Witton. Whatever the sector,
local brands are more competitive than
foreign companies.
Xavey allows clients to conduct Myanmar and English language field surveys using mobile devices, and converts
paper based research forms into mobile
applications, according to a May 5 press
release. The product runs online, on the
cloud, or offline.
Before, market research firms and
NGOs collected data in the traditional
way by using paper, Ko Aung Sithu
Kyaw told The Myanmar Times. Our
platform changes the way data is collected, using mobile phones. For the
time being, clients can collect data by
using Android devices, he said.

Ko Aung Sithu Kyaw warned that


start-up companies in Myanmar should
not only emphasise what they want to
do, but must also be business-oriented.
If start-up companies work smartly,
they can get investment, but there is
still a lack of human resources in Myanmar, he said.
In Myanmar, we are lacking skilled
labourers and office prices are too high.
These remain barriers to developing
small businesses, he added.
Xavey is one of a number of investments Anthem Asia has made in the
past 18 months, according to the May 5
press release. Last year, the firm invested in two businesses; The Blink Agency,
a digital marketing joint venture; and
Zagar Communications, a marketing
and communications company.
For an investment company, Myanmar has a lot of opportunities in startup and expansion projects like Blink
and Thahara, but there are still some
difficulties, said Mr Witton
For example office prices are very
high and the banking system is too
slow.
Anthem Asias other investments
include a serviced office project called
Hintha Business Centres. The first Hintha facility, which opened in September
2013, is in downtown Yangon, close to
Sule Pagoda. The company has also
invested in Thahara, a marketing and
management platform offering access
to properties across Myanmar.
The firm focuses on opportunities
requiring first phase investment of between US$100,000 and $1.5 million.

MYAT
NOE OO
myatnoe.mcm@gmail.com

MA Aeint Myats Love Portion shop


is in the business of womens wear and
cosmetics.
Her business has grown in bounds
off the expansion of the internet and
rising consumer spending power in
Mandalay. She collects pre-orders
through her online presence, then imports the items and distributes them
to consumers.
Its a business model that takes
energy and effort after all, barriers
to entry are low and she has many
competitors, forcing her to keep her
margins thin.
Recently, however, things have taken a turn for the worse. A plunge in
the kyat against the US dollar is eating
into her margins. She sells the item at
one price in kyat, but does not receive
payment until the item is delivered.
In the meantime, she must pay for
the imports in dollars meaning she
holds all the foreign exchange risk in
the transaction.
When the dollar appreciates, my
products also become more expensive.
The cost of the products may increase
by up to K1000 and K1500 in that two
weeks, she said.
But customers want to purchase

the item at the price we initially offered, not factoring in the exchange
rate two weeks later. When this happens, we are losing profit, said Ma
Aeint Myat.
The Love Portion shop is only one of
many small businesses that have been
affected by the depreciating kyat. While
the exact value of the kyat against the
greenback is a matter of dispute the
Central Bank of Myanmars reference
exchange rate yesterday was at K1082,
though some exchanges illegally traded
the currency at about K1120 per dollar
yesterday it has lost value in 2015.

When the dollar


appreciates, my
products also
become more
expensive.
Ma Aeint Myat
Online store owner

The kyat-dollar exchange rates


was K1025 at the start of the year,
meaning according to the Central
Bank the kyat had depreciated by
about 5 percent in the year to yesterday, while the market puts the
depreciation at about 10pc. The

depreciation has also not been


smooth over the year, with several
periods of rapid depreciation and
others of relative calm.
Ma Aeint Myat Chel said if the
depreciations continue, she will be
forced to change how she charges
customers.
If customers do not pay in advance, we will have to look at increasing the price of products, she
said.
Her shop is far from the only
one that has this challenge. The
owner of Ladys Secret online shop,
a Yangon-based retailer, said most
online shops follow the same business model, with similar foreign exchange risks.
They now closely watch the exchange rate, keen to catch on to currency trends before they affect the
business, the owner said.
Some online shops have made
good decisions, and bought from
abroad when the dollar price was
not strong. They can sell at a cheaper price than us, making it difficult
to compete in the market, she said.
Fortunately, we have a strong
customer base. But now we need to
think about whether we should be
products or wait out the situation.
Online shops are not the only
firms which are losing out from the
sliding local currency, but given the
competitiveness of the industry and
small scale of their business, they
have been particularly hard-hit.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Thailand plans SEZs


on Cambodias border
to draw cheaper labour

Netflix makes a China


push alongside Jack
Mas Wasu

BUSINESS 12

BUSINESS 13

Exchange Rates (May 18 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1228
K304
K813
K32
K1089

Selling
K1247
K315
K825
K34
K1091

Mitsubishi, Hitachi to invest $20m


in domestic train network
Gone station in northwest Yangon,
through southern Yangon, to Pazundaung station in the southeast.
The spokesperson for Mitsubishi Corp said that the company has
plans to co-work with Hitachi on
Yangons circular railway upgrade,
though added that this has not yet
been 100pc confirmed. Last year the
deputy minister for transport U Myint Thein told the Amyotha Hluttaw
that JICA and Myanma Railways
would build a high-speed train between Yangon and Mandalay. The
project is due to begin in 2015, and
will take eight years. Once complete,
a 100km-an-hour service will run between the two cities.

CLARE
HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com

RIDING on Myanmars antiquated


railway network is not an experience
for the impatient or infirm. American travel writer Paul Theroux, in
The Great Railway Bazaar, quotes a
policeman on the Yangon-Mandalay
line as it breaks down for the fourth
time.
It is a slow train, he says. Dirty
and old old coaches, old engines.
Not much has changed since the
book was written 40 years ago. The
622-kilometre (386-mile) journey
takes 15 hours to complete, according to the schedule in reality it
can take longer and the trains and
tracks have seen little repair over recent years.
But with help from Japan, several
major projects are under way to upgrade and modernise the line.
On May 15, Mitsubishi Corporation and Hitachi Ltd signed a 2.4
billion yen (US$20 million) contract
with state-owned Myanma Railways
to supply and install railway signaling systems.
The contract will be covered by
grant aid from the Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA),
and completion of the project is
scheduled for June 2017.
New signalling technology to be
installed includes a train monitoring system, an electric interlocking
system to control turnout machines
and signal lamps, and a level crossing system. These will be installed
along a 140km stretch of track between Yangon Central Station and
Pyuntasa Station, in Bago Region.
Given the ageing of existing
railway infrastructure in Myanmar,

People walk along the tracks meant for the Yangon Circular Train. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

improvement of the quality and


safety of railway services has become an urgent issue, said a joint
statement issued by the two firms.
The level crossing system will be
built first, according to a Mitsubishi
spokesperson, and is due for completion around the end of October 2015.
The most important item to be
upgraded is the train monitoring
system which enables the control
center to grasp the position of running trains, she said. With this project as a first step, Mitsubishi Corp

and Hitachi will continue to pursue


opportunities for involvement in future railway infrastructure projects
in Myanmar.
In September 2014, JICA announced that it had signed a Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with the
Myanmar government, to provide up
to 63.166 billion yen for four projects
across various sectors.
Part of this was committed to the
modernisation of Myanmars most
important railway lines, with the
Yangon-Mandalay line identified as

the most important trunk line.


JICA said last September that
due to the countrys ageing network,
railway accidents along the line occur around 100 times a year. In light
of this, phase one of the YangonMandalay Improvement Project will
modernise old equipment and facilities to provide a safer, faster service.
In Yangon, JICA also has plans
to work with Myanma Railways to
upgrade the citys circular railway
line. Phase one will cover around
half of the railway track, from Dayin

Given the ageing


of existing railway
infrastructure
in Myanmar,
improvement of the
quality and safety of
railway services has
become an urgent
issue.
Mitsubishi and Hitachi statement

Japan is not the only country interested in upgrading Myanmars railways. China has long had ambitions to
link a deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu in
Rakhine State with Muse on the Myanmar-China border. The line would
pass through Ann, Minbu, Magwe,
Mandalay and Lashio. However, the
scheme was put on hold last year due
to public opposition.

MAWLAMYINE

Mon State fishery departments first auction of


smuggled fish hindered by police health warning
NAW SAY PHAW WAA
nawsayphawwaa@gmail.com
A CONSIGNMENT of smuggled seafood captured by a customs and police team in Mawlamyine has been
handed over for resale by the local
fisheries department for the first
time.
U Kyaw Tun Nyo, assistant chief
officer of Mon State Department of
Fisheries, told The Myanmar Times
on May 16 that this was the first
time a consignment of contraband
had been auctioned off to a local
supplier for resale by the fisheries
department.
In the past, local courts had handled the auctions of smuggled fish
products.
Police at Myinetharyar, Mawlamyine, Mon State, said the contraband seized on May 7 in Taung Wai

district, Mawlamyine, amounts to 250


boxes of frozen shrimp and fish from
Thailand, worth an estimated K8.757
million (US$8090) though the bids
that were submitted have valued the
contraband at half that amount.
The local Department of Fisheries office called the area distributors and invited them to submit
bids, which were due on May 8.
Five local firms submitted tenders
for the consignment, with the winner to be allowed to sell the fish to
local customers.
The winner will walk off with
K4.75 million worth of frozen
perch, shrimp and prawns, weighing about 3600 kilograms, as that
was the highest bid, said a fisheries
department spokesperson. The department had originally valued the
haul at K8.757 million.
The lower valuation came partly

due to health concerns over the


quality of the fish.
This frozen fish is not suitable for
eating, said sub-inspector U Aung
Thiha Kyaw of Myinetharyar police.
He said that after their arrest, one or

MILLION KYAT

4.75

Highest bid that was received for the


fish though the seized shipment
was initially valued at nearly twice the
amount.

more suspects had been questioned


by police, the fisheries department,
township officials, customs and special branch. A driver, U Than Htet Oo,
has been charged under the importexport law.
Fisheries department deputy
chief officer U Soe Nyunt dismissed
the police warning, saying, We
havent checked the food at the laboratory yet because the local people
have eaten most of it. If its not rotten, we decided it was suitable to
eat. What the police said is not our
concern.
The police burned nine viss
[14.4 kilograms or 32.4 pounds]
of chicken livers and gizzards on
May 8 but transferred the fish and
shrimp to the Department of Fisheries, he added.
U Kyaw Htun Nyo of the fisheries department said smugglers were

attracted by the price differential


available in Mawlamyine, which
often attracts higher prices. Thats
the reason the cheaper product is
imported here, he said.
Usually, captured contraband is
handed over to the court for safeguarding, but this was the first
time smuggled fish had been handed over to the fisheries department,
said U Soe Nyunt.
Since the smuggling deprives
us of taxes, we decided to put the
contraband out to tender under the
direction of the Mon State government, he said.
Fisheries have traditionally been
one of the largest export earners for
the country, though many fish traders say ocean stocks are declining
and production at fish farms are
not keeping up with the declines,
leading to a fall in exports.

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

Shwedagon and
Yangon cannot
be divided, says
forum speaker
TIN YADANAR HTUN MYAT NYEIN AYE

SHWEDAGON Pagoda is the historical and cultural centre of Yangon,


and if its character should fade, the
character of Yangon will also fade
away, said Daw Hlaing Maw Oo, assistant director of the Department
of Human Settlement and Housing
Developments Urban and Regional
Planning Division.
If modern high-rise buildings are
built close to the pagoda, their lights
could diminish its character, she said
at the Save Shwedagon Forum, hosted by the Association of Myanmar Architects at the DHSHD meeting hall
in Yangon on May 17.
We are worried that we wont be
able to see Shwedagon from other
places in the city, because of new highrise buildings, said Daw Hlaing Maw
Oo. We need a city development law
to protect the historical site, and to
protect downtown Yangon. Shwedagon and Yangon cant be divided.
She said there are nine places
from which it is possible to see the
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. These
viewpoints should not disappear, as
all Myanmar citizens should have the
chance to see Shwedagon from afar,
Daw Hlaing Maw Oo added.

The Association of Myanmar Architects has sent an advisory letter to


the president, state government members and related ministries and organisations, requesting them to help save
Shwedagon and its surroundings, said
U San Oo, chair of the association.
We sent letters asking them to
carry out technical research on the
local ecosystem, the level of ground
water, construction heights, volume
and capacity, as well as the viewpoints from which it is possible to see
the pagoda, before any new projects
are built, he said.
We are trying to save Shwedagon
and will protest against anyone who
tries to diminish Shwedagons viewpoints and its environment, said U
San Oo.
In February, five large construction projects were suspended by government authorities due to concerns
over their proximity to the site.
The projects by Thu Kha Yadanar
Co, Shwe Taung Hyday Development,
Marga Landmark, Shwe Taung Development, and Adventure Myanmar
Tour and Incentives projects all sit on
former military-owned land in Dagon
township.
Last week, Marga Landmark issued a statement, clarifying facts
about its mixed-use Dagon City One
project, stating it was in strict compliance with approved plans, and
warning against what it called critics
spreading wrong information and engaging in groundless speculation.

People visit Shwedagon Pagoda. Photo: Kaung Htet

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the


company declined to comment directly on the Save Shwedagon Forum.
One of the main problems is that
there is no legally enacted city development plan, according to speakers
at the forum. The most recent set of
guidelines is the 2013 draft of the JICAbacked Yangon 2040 master plan, formally known as the Strategic Urban Development Plan of the Greater Yangon.
All the Yangon city development
drafts have followed the same code
not to approve high- rise buildings
near to downtown and Shwedagon,
said U Than Moe, senior adviser to
Myanmars Urban Research and Development Institute.
High-rise buildings should be
built uptown, in townships such as
North Okkalapa, South Okkalapa
and Thaketa. We need to enact a city
development law, from the 2012 and
2013 drafts, he added.
New construction projects beside
the Shwedagon are still legal until

the draft law is enacted. However, as


there has been no study into the condition of the ground beneath the pagoda and the resistance of its foundations, nearby projects should not be
approved, said experts at the forum.
One of the main concerns is that
the foundations may be impacted,
causing the pagoda to slope in the

We need a city
development law
to protect the
historical site,
and to protect
downtown Yangon.
Daw Hlaing Maw Oo
DHSHD official

LONDON

future, said Daw Khin Ni Ni Thein,


secretary of the Water Advisory
Group at the National Water Resources Committee.
With advanced technical assistance, projects could be built near
to Shwedagon Pagoda. But at the
moment, we have no guarantee that
nothing will go wrong in the future,
and then who will take responsibility? The value of the pagoda cannot
be measured in money, she said.
A downtown conservation area
and a specially protected area around
the Shwedagon are essential elements in a dynamic and imaginative vision for a 21st-Century Yangon,
said U Thant Myint-U, founder of the
Yangon Heritage Trust, a non-government organisation.
I believe there can and should be
medium and high-rise developments
in Yangon, but in their proper place.
There is more than enough room for
the kind of growth and modernisation we all want, he said.

JOHANNESBURG

Too many battery-powered bikes in China South


Africa
take charge out of leads market prices
UNDER the seat of almost every
one of the 180 million electric bicycles tooling around Chinas congested streets and alleyways is one
sign of a fading global lead market.
The metal is used in the
24-pound (11-kilogram) batteries
powering bikes that now outnumber cars, trucks and buses in the
worlds fastest-growing vehicle
market. While lead prices jumped
in April by the most in two years,
fuelled by smaller stockpiles and
reduced mine output, e-bike sales
are expanding at the slowest pace
in at least a decade and more batteries are being recycled or replaced with lighter ones made with
lithium.
China uses half of the worlds
lead mostly in batteries for everything from vehicles to equipment
backing up the power grid. With a
sluggish economy, the recent price
gains simply are not sustainable,
according to Macquarie Group Ltd.
and Societe Generale SA. Lead production will probably exceed demand for a fifth year, leaving ample
supplies, Macquarie estimates.
It just doesnt feel like a market where you would have everything in place for a sustained rally,
said Michael Widmer, an analyst at
Bank of America in London. There
still remains the immediate lack of
Chinese demand.
Lead climbed 16 percent last

month, more than anything else


traded on the London Metal Exchange, rebounding from a fouryear low to touch US$2162.50 a
tonne, the highest in almost eight
months. The gains were magnified
by traders closing out bearish bets
rather than new optimism on prices, said Vivienne Lloyd, a Londonbased analyst at Macquarie.
E-bikes were a big reason for
lead rallies over the past two decades. In China, demand for cheap,
quick transportation boomed as
the economy grew to become the
worlds second-largest, prompting
millions of people to move from
rural areas to the cities for jobs.
Now, the country faces the slowest
growth since the 1990s, along with
packed roadways and more traffic
fatalities.
The market for e-bikes in China
grew from zero in the late 1990s

MILLION

29

Number of electric bicycles expected to


be sold in China

to doubling every year for several


years until the mid-2000s, according to Christopher Cherry, a professor at the University of Tennessee
at Knoxville.
E-bike sales will rise 2.4pc this
year to 29 million, based on market
estimates from Navigant Research,
a Boulder, Colorado-based consultancy.
Cities are getting larger, more
spread out and harder to ride an ebike in, and more cars are getting
on the road, said Mr Cherry, who
has researched e-bikes for a decade.
Its getting more dangerous for
cyclers.
The vehicles account for 15pc
of total demand for the metal, up
from 5pc a decade ago, according
to the International Lead and Zinc
Study Group, or ILZSG.
Also hurting lead demand is a
shift to lithium batteries, which
power less than 10pc of new ebikes, according to Ed Benjamin,
senior managing director at eCycleElectric LLC, a Fort Myers, Floridabased consulting firm. That may
increase to 30pc by 2017, data from
Paris-based bank Natixis SA shows.
Old bikes and used-up batteries
add to metal supply because the
parts can be broken down and recycled. China will use 1pc more lead
this year than 2014, Lisbon-based
ILZSG said in April. Thats down
from the groups October forecast

of 2.9pc.
At the same time, production is
slowing. Falling prices caused Ivernia to close Paroo Station in Western Australia this year. MMG Ltd is
also shutting its Century zinc and
lead mine in Australia.
Lead is a supply story, said
Stephen Briggs, an analyst at BNP
Paribas SA in London. Nobodys
developing new lead mines.
Holders of lead have drawn
down stockpiles to the lowest level
in more than two years, according
to warehouse data tracked by exchanges in London and Shanghai.
That is not as bullish as investors think, according to Robin
Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale. He said the metal probably is
just being moved to other storage
facilities rather being used by itsmanufacturers.
Another negative sign: China is
exporting more lead, which may
mean domestic demand is not
keeping up with supply.
If, like us, you think fundamentals will ultimately drive the price
for the remainder of the year, then
you have to be concerned about the
picture in the Chinese market, Nic
Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis, said in a May 7
interview.
We dont see any sign of it turning around.
Bloomberg

slowed by
electricity
SOUTH Africa is forecast to grow at
2 percent this year, far below the rate
needed to ease high unemployment
and growing frustration among many
young blacks more than two decades
after the end of apartheid.
The most pressing risk facing us
at the moment is the energy generation, MR Nene said at a briefing in
Johannesburg.
We are concerned at the negative impact that electricity constraint is having on our growth and
potential growth.
Load shedding scheduled
power cuts to reduce energy usage
has become part of everyday life
for many people and companies in
South Africa.
State-owned power company Eskom, which generates more than
95pc of the countrys electricity, has
been weakened by years of underinvestment and ageing infrastructure,
as well as governance problems.
Ensuring that Eskom returns to
full financial and operational sustainability is our top priority as government, MR Nene said.
Inadequate maintenance of the
power plants and distribution networks is resulting in deteriorating
and unreliable performance. AFP

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
SYDNEY

SEOUL

Inquiry threat for


Oz iron ore industry
THE huge iron ore industry in Australia faces the threat of a parliamentary inquiry amid claims the
worlds biggest miners, including
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, are
flooding the market to wipe out
smaller competitors.
The steel-making commodity
is the nations largest export, with
Australia accounting for 60 percent
of the worlds sea-borne supply, and
the slumping price has hit government revenues hard.
Budget figures last week showed
that Australias forecast tax receipts
will be cut by A$52 billion (US$41.6
billion) over the four years to 201718, largely driven by the plunging
iron ore price.
The price weakness has been
exacerbated by the worlds biggest
exporters of the commodity BHP,
Rio, and Brazils Vale who make
up the majority of the market and
have kept lifting production levels
to maintain or even lift their export
share despite slower growth in Chinese demand.
This has led to smaller mining
companies, which have higher production costs, battling to survive
the challenging conditions.
Andrew Forrest, chief executive
of Fortescue Metals, another major Australian iron ore producer,
is spearheading the charge for an
inquiry, alleging BHP and Rio have
deliberately flooded the market to
cut prices and drive competitors
out of business.
His own company has been
forced to lay off hundreds of workers.
Now I believe in free markets,
but when CEOs pursue business
strategies which flood the market,
in a last man standing race to the
bottom, we dont have free markets, he wrote this month in a column for Sydneys Daily Telegraph.
Rios iron ore chief executive
Andrew Harding on May 17 said the
claim was completely false. BHP
has voiced similar sentiments but
the government has indicated an
inquiry could be warranted.
Independent senator Nick

Xenophon has been pressing for


a probe, arguing, The minerals of
this country are owned by the people of Australia and there are huge
public policy interests at stake.
There are many factors at play.
There are many allegations swirling
around. We havent made any final
decision in this regard, said Treasurer Joe Hockey of an inquiry. I
have spoken to all the players here
and overseas and we will be making
a final decision about whether we
would proceed with something that
is sensible and made up of sensible
people over the next few weeks.
Canberra is said to be split, with
Trade Minister Andrew Robb and
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane
reportedly concerned an inquiry
will send a damaging signal that
the government could be seen as
regulating the market.
The former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission, Graeme Samuel,
agreed that Australia must avoid
any perception of meddling which
could hurt its reputation as a place
to invest.
He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that competition regulators not politicians
were best served to investigate allegations of market manipulation.
I think the problem with politicians getting involved is that we get
into a political theatre with parliamentary inquiries and we tend to
get a confusion then between what
is in the public interest and what is
in a political interest or serving political purposes, he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
hedged his bets when asked about
the matter over the weekend, with
Rio and BHP two of Australias
most powerful corporate entities.
Rio and BHP are our largest
corporate taxpayers. I want them
to continue to flourish but I also
want a level playing field. I want
to ensure that theres no predatory
behaviour. I want to ensure that
everyone is able to compete freely
in an open market, he said. AFP

Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and South Koreas President Park Geun-Hye inspect an honour guard during a
welcoming ceremony at the presidential house in Seoul yesterday. Photo: AFP

Modi makes Korea pitch


INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra
Modi arrived in Seoul yesterday for a
two-day visit heavily focused on economic ties with Asias fourth-largest
economy and beefing up investment
from South Korean firms.
On his first visit to Seoul since
taking office a year ago, Mr Modi
was to meet President Park GeunHye to discuss issues ranging from
diplomacy and the economy to the
security situation on the Korean
peninsula.
The trip part of a six-day East
Asia tour is packed with a whirlwind of meetings with business tycoons from South Koreas largest
conglomerates, including Hyundai,
Samsung and LG.
All three manufacturing giants
operate plants in India where they
enjoy sizeable shares of the vast consumer market for cars, smartphones
and home appliances.
Mr Modi is looking to secure
promises of bigger investments as
part of his Make In India initiative,

BANGKOK

Slow Thai economic growth


highlights need for kickstart
THAILANDS economy expanded
0.3 percent on-quarter in JanuaryMarch, official data showed yesterday, highlighting the task ahead for
the military junta that seized power
in a coup last year vowing to kickstart growth after months of political instability.
And in another blow to the countrys year-old government the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESB) lowered its
growth forecast for this year.
Year-on-year
first
quarter
growth came in at 3pc, the NESB
said yesterday.
But Krystal Tan, an Asia economist at Capital Economics, said that
figure was exaggerated by a low
base in the first quarter of 2014,
when growth contracted and political unrest was at its peak.
At the time Bangkok was paralysed by protests against the democratically elected government of
Yingluck Shinawatra, whose administration was eventually toppled in
the coup.
The NESB said it expected the
economy to grow 3.0 to 4.0pc this

year, down from an earlier prediction of 3.5 to 4.5pc. Growth came


in at just 0.7pc in 2014, its weakest
pace in three years.
In February, Thailands finance
minister said he had been told by
junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha to
push for at least 4.0pc growth for
2015, something many analysts
thought optimistic.
The World Bank estimates
growth for 2015 will be closer to
3.5pc.
The ruling junta has vowed to
pump billions of dollars into the

PERCENT

0.3

Quarter-on-quarter growth by the


Thai economy for the January to
March quarter

economy, mainly through longplanned infrastructure schemes,


but analysts say government spending and increased tourist revenues
have failed to offset falling exports
and weakening demand at home.
There has been no sign of a
strong economic recovery, Benjarong Suwankiri, an economist
at TMB Bank in Bangkok, told
Bloomberg News.
Growth will continue to be sluggish, as only the governments spending has showed signs of picking up,
while consumption, investment and
exports are still very weak.
Thailands key agricultural sectors including rice and rubber
have struggled with falling global
prices, curbing the amount of crops
produced and taking money out of
Thais pockets.
The country also remains one
of Southeast Asias most indebted
economies, discouraging consumer
confidence.
Last month Thailands central
bank cut its benchmark interest
rate from 1.75pc to 1.5pc, its lowest
since July 2010. AFP

aimed at fostering the nations relatively weak manufacturing sector.


South Korea has made far less
investment in India than other
Asian rivals like China or Japan
despite the countrys vast growth
potential, said Oh Hwa-Suk, head
of the Seoul-based India Economy
Research Institute.
India also needs help upgrading
its outdated transport infrastructure
a constant source of frustration

South Korea
has made far less
investment in India
than other Asian
rivals.
Oh Hwa-Suk
India Economy Research Institute

among foreign firms operating there.


Indian media reports suggested
Mr Modi was hoping to secure up to
US$10 billion in South Korean soft
loans to fund infrastructure projects.
Today, Mr Modi is scheduled to
visit the main shipyard of the worlds
largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy
Industries, in the southern city of Ulsan and to meet with its chair Choi
Kil-Seon.
Hyundai Motor Company, South
Koreas largest carmaker, operates
two plants in the southern Indian
city of Chennai, and expanding that
investment is expected to be high
on the agenda during a meeting between Mr Modi and Hyundai Motor
chair Chung Mong-Koo in Seoul, also
scheduled for today.
A planned meeting with JK Shin
the head of Samsungs mobile unit
in Seoul is also expected to help
accelerate the South Korean firms
reported plans to build a third plant
in India, one of the worlds fastestgrowing handset markets. AFP

TRADEMARK CAUTION
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a company registered under
the laws of United States of America, which is located at 7100 NW
62nd Avenue, PO Box 1014, Johnston, Iowa 50131-1014 United
States of America, is the sole owner of the following trademark:

XYLEM

Reg. No. 1765/2015


In respect of Class 31: Agricultural seeds.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. claims the trademark


rightand other relevant Intellectual Property right for the mark as
mentioned above. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. reserves the
rights to take legal measures against any infringer who violates its
Intellectual Property or other legal rights in accordance with the
concerned laws of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
U Kyi Naing, LL.B., LL.M., (H.G.P.)
For Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
Tilleke & Gibbins Myanmar Ltd. No. 1608, 16th Floor, Sakura
Tower, 339 Bogyoke Aung San Road, Kyauktada Township, Yangon,
Myanmar
Email address: myanmar@tilleke.com
Dated: 19th May, 2015

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 19, 2015

PHNOM PENH

Thailand pushes forward with


SEZs on Cambodia border
THAILAND is moving ahead with
plans to increase cross-border
trade with Cambodia by setting
up two joint special economic
zones along the Thai-Cambodian
border, to boost agricultural and
industrial production, while using
cheaper labour from Cambodia.
The SEZs will be set up along
the Sa Kaeo-Bantey Meanchey and
Trat-Koh Kong provinces, and includes the opening of a new checkpoint at Ban Nong Ian in Sa Kaeo
by 2018, according to the Bangkok
Post. Currently there are two economic zones operating in Poitpet
and one in Koh Kong district.
Kor Sumsaroeut, governor of
Bantey Meanchey province, yesterday confirmed that talks are on
between Cambodian and Thai officials to set up this SEZ, adding
that while it is called a joint SEZ,
it will be developed separately.
Thailand will build their SEZs
on their territory of Sa Kaeo province, very close to Cambodias border. According to the plan, they
will employ a labour force from
Cambodia. Smart Cards will be
used instead of passports for Cambodian workers to work in their
SEZs, he said.
Cambodias advantage lies in
its cheap labour force, Mr Sumsaroeut said, but limited infrastructure facilities along the border
will affect the competitiveness of
existing SEZs in the district.
It is surely a competition for
our SEZs in the province. What
we can do is to improve the infrastructure supporting companies in the SEZs and the supply of
electricity, which we are currently
buying from Thailand, he added.
Ly Kim Hong, manager of the
Poipet Oneang Special Economic
Zone, said that setting up another SEZ in Thailand will increase
competition, but the new development did not pose a threat to his
SEZ.

Thai workers process rubber. Thailand aims to set up SEZs near the border with Cambodia, aiming to take advantage
of the countrys cheaper labour. Photo: AFP

Despite the fact that Cambodia has a disadvantage in infrastructure, Cambodia has cheaper
labour costs and trade preference
over Thailand, especially for the
garment industry, he said.
Despite this increased competition, he said, there was enough
space for investors to choose between the two countries, but Cambodia needs to continue to improve its facilities.
In terms of infrastructure, although we cannot compete with
Thailand, we have good enough
and usable infrastructure, which
is acceptable for investors to
transport their products out of the
country. So we have to improve,
but it is not a concern, he added.

While a joint SEZ could be


helpful in the short term by providing Cambodian workers with
employment opportunities and
better pay it could affect Cambodias ambitions to kick-start its
own industrial and light manufacturing sectors, said Chan Sophal,
director at the Centre for Policy
Studies.
So the pressure for job creation in Cambodia will be a bit relieved. However, it poses a huge
challenge to Cambodias quest
to develop its industry based on
cheap labour at the early stage,
said Mr Sophal.
According to Mr Sophal, depending on the scale of industries set up
at the proposed SEZ, Cambodian

companies will have to match the


higher wages offered by companies
in the SEZ.
I just hope that there wont be
too much investment in the SEZ
that [will] absorb too much labour
from Cambodia. I would call for a
serious study of the potential impact of this Thai policy on Cambodia, he added.
In June 2013, Cambodia and
Thailand agreed to boost bilateral
trade and investment by establishing two special economic zones
along the border, as well as push
for the construction of a 1800megawatt coal-fired power plant
in Koh Kong province, which is
yet to be developed.
The Phnom Penh Post

SHANGHAI

Alibaba
denounces
French
fakes suit
CHINESE e-commerce giant Alibaba
yesterday denounced as baseless a
lawsuit by French apparel company
Kering Group, whose luxury brands
include Gucci, which accused it of selling fake products.
Kering filed suit against US-listed Alibaba in a New York court last
week for selling counterfeits of its
products worldwide, Chinese state
media reported.
Kerings portfolio of luxury and
lifestyle brands include Saint Laurent,
Alexander McQueen and Puma, according to its website.
Copyright infringement is rife in
China, but Alibaba said it planned to
fight the case.
Unfortunately, Kering Group has
chosen the path of wasteful litigation
instead of the path of constructive cooperation, an Alibaba spokesperson
said in a statement.
We believe this complaint has no
basis and we will fight it vigorously,
it said.
Alibabas Taobao platform is estimated to hold more than 90 percent
of the consumer-to-consumer market
in China, while its Tmall.com is believed to command over half the Chinese market for business-to-consumer
transactions.
State media said that Kering filed
an earlier lawsuit against Alibaba in
July last year but dropped it after the
two companies agreed to work together to reduce counterfeiting.
We continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help
them protect their intellectual property and we have a strong track record
of doing so, Alibaba said in its statement yesterday.
In January, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce,
which regulates market order in
China, delivered an unusual dressingdown of the prominent company,
AFP

SYDNEY

BHP spinoff debuts near


low end of estimates

IN PICTURES

Photo: AFP

A man walks past concrete pillars of Hanois first skytrain line


under construction on a lake. Approved in 2008 and built by a
Chinese constructor with funds coming mostly from
China, the is lagging behind schedule with the cost of the
project having been readjusted up from US$552 million to
$892 million, according to local official media.

BHP Billitons spin-off mining company


South32 debuted on the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday at the lower end of expectations, valued at about
A$11.3 billion (US$9.1 billion), but its
chief said it offered long-term value.
Shareholders in the Anglo-Australian giant overwhelmingly approved
the demerger earlier this month to allow it to focus on its most profitable
areas of iron ore, copper, petroleum,
coal and potash.
The new entity, South32, has a
more diversified metals and mining
portfolio, including aluminium, coal,
nickel, manganese, silver, lead and
zinc, with most of its mines in the
Southern Hemisphere.
It began trading at A$2.13 ($1.70)
and closed at A$2.05. Analysts had
expected the price to range between
A$2.00 and A$3.50.
The BHP spin-off South32 has
come on softer than expected, said
CMC Markets sales trader Tony Kwok,
adding that it was in line with the
overall tone of the market.
Shares in BHP tumbled 7.3 percent to end the day at A$30.13, down
A$2.36. Overall the S&P/ASX200 fell
on the sell-off of banking and other
stocks, dropping 1.33pc to 5659.2.

South32s chief executive Graham


Kerr said in a statement the listing
came during challenging times for
the resources sector.
But he added, South32 will start
life with a strong balance sheet, along
with high-quality, well-maintained,
cash-generative assets and highly talented people.
Speaking to reporters in Perth, Mr
Kerr would not comment on the listing price for the new company which
is the worlds largest producer of manganese ore and owns the largest silver
mine in the world, but said the firm
offered long-term value. Weve spent
a lot of time talking to investors about
why we think South32 is a good investment and in the end they will make
up their own mind and the share price
will reflect that, he said.
Mr Kerr said he was looking to
improve productivity in a sustainable
way and combine strong operational
performance with financial discipline
to increase shareholder value.
But investors appeared to have
concerns about the spin-offs growth
potential, particularly given worries
about weaker Chinese demand, despite the new firm having relatively
low debt levels. AFP

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
ATHENS

BEIJING

Tsipras frets ability


to make IMF
payment this month
PRIME Minister Alexis Tsipras had
warned foreign officials that Athens would not be able to pay the
750 million euros (US$845 million)
due this month to the International
Monetary Fund, Greek newspapers
said on May 17.
The reports came less than a
week after Athens admitted that it
tapped into an emergency account to
pay back the loan, in order to avoid
crashing out of the eurozone.
On May 8, Mr Tsipras wrote to
European Commission, IMF and
European Central Bank officials to
warn them that Greece would be
unable to meet its May 12 deadline, unless its creditors agreed
to release a final 7.2 billion-euro
($8.2 billion) tranche of its bailout,
Kathimerini daily said, citing European officials.
The newspaper also said Mr
Tsipras contacted US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
But Kathimerini said Greeces
creditors saw the warning as a possible bluff .
Greece won some support in the
latest round of debt talks as it battles
to keep itself solvent, but eurozone
finance ministers have demanded
more key reforms before they agree
to release the funds.
Scrambling to pay its debt, the
Greek government ended up drawing

660 million euros from a special account held at the IMF, and scraping
together the rest of the sum just in
time.
Mr Tsipras also wanted 1.9 billion euros in profits made by the
ECB from Greek bonds purchased
in 2010, and 1.2 billion euros Athens
claims it unduly paid to the European Financial Stability Facility.

MILLION EUROS

750

Size of the Greek debt payment


due this month to the International
Monetary Fund

Confirming the reports, Vima


weekly said the Greek government
warned it did not have the money to
pay the IMF back.
The prime ministers office did
not comment on the reports.
Billions more in loan repayments
are due over the next three months.
AFP

Netflix in talks with


Mas Wasu for China
NETFLIX is in talks with a Chinese
media company backed by Jack
Ma and other possible partners as
it seeks entry into the countrys
US$5.9 billion online video market,
according to people familiar with
the matter.
Netflix has held discussions with
companies including Wasu Media
Holding about forming a partnership, according to the people, who
asked not to be identified because
the talks are private. Netflix plans
to be nearly global by the end of
2016, a spokesperson, Anne Marie
Squeo, said in response to questions
about a possible China partnership.
Entering China would allow
the broadcaster of House of Cards
and Orange Is the New Black to
take advantage of whats forecast
to be explosive growth in online
television in the nation of 1.4 billion people. The market is expected
to almost triple to 90 billion yuan
($14 billion) by 2018, according to
Shanghai-based Internet consultant IResearch.
A local partnership would be
essential given the Chinese governments strict controls over licensing
for online content. Netflix wants a
partner that has licenses for content on all devices including mobile phones, computers and set-top
boxes, according to sources. Chinas
State Administration of Press, Pub-

Chinese online retail giant Alibaba


founder Jack Ma appears at the New
York Stock Exchange last year.
Photo: AFP

lication, Radio, Film and Television


has given Internet TV licences to
seven companies, including Wasu.
Wasu did not return requests for
comment as of press time.
Netflix, based in Los Gatos,
California, is investing heavily in
original programming to keep the
US business growing and support
international expansion. Chief content fffice Ted Sarandos told a May

13 investor conference that Netflix


intends to try to figure out China
and how to get there. The company
doesnt intend to go to China without a partner, he said.
Were open to all different models to get there eventually, because
we want to be fully global, he said.
And its a pretty big chunk of the
world to have an asterisk.
Netflix would need to sort out
content censorship regulations with
Chinese authorities. Starting this
April, new episodes of foreign programs including Mad Men and
The Simpsons cant be shown
until after the shows seasons have
ended, according to a government
notice.
Episodes need to handed in to
censors for approval, and content
deemed violent, sexual or offensive
to the ruling Communist Party can
be cut, according to notices.
Wasu, one of the first in China to
receive an Internet TV licence from
the government, has been working
with Mas Alibaba Group Holding
Ltd. to produce set-top boxes since
2013. Wasu operates cable TV and
broadband networks in Hangzhou,
where Alibaba is based.
Wasu said in April last year it
would sell a 20 percent stake to Alibaba chair Jack Ma and fellow billionaire Shi Yuzhu.
Bloomberg

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 19, 2015

15

World

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

Senator makes
100th appeal on
global warming

Blame game
begins after Manila
factory blaze

WORLD 17

WORLD 18

BAGHDAD

BRUSSELS

Residents flee as IS
takes provincial capital

EU to back anti-smuggling operation

SHIITE militias converged on Ramadi yesterday in a bid recapture it from


jihadists who dealt the Iraqi government a stinging blow by overrunning
the city in a deadly three-day blitz.
The loss of the capital of Iraqs
largest province was Baghdads worst
military setback since it started clawing back territory from the jihadists
late last year.
Days after a rare message from
IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
urging mass mobilisation, the group
came close to also seizing one of Syrias most famed heritage sites, ancient
Palmyra, but the army pinned it back.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider alAbadi had been reluctant to deploy
Shiite militias to Anbar province for
fear of alienating its overwhelmingly
Sunni Arab population.
He favoured developing locally
recruited forces, a policy that had
strong US support.
But militia commanders said
yesterday that Ramadis fall had
shown that the government could not
do without the so-called Popular Mobilisation units (Hashed al-Shaabi).
Badr militia chief Hadi al-Ameri
said the provinces leaders should
have taken up his offer of help sooner.
The groups Al Ghadeer television
said Mr Ameri holds the political
representatives of Anbar responsible for the fall of Ramadi because
they objected to the participation of
Hashed al-Shaabi in the defence of
their own people.
Various militias announced they
had units already in Anbar including around the cities of Fallujah and
Habbaniyah ready to close in on
Ramadi and engage the citys new
masters.
A spokesperson for Ketaeb Hezbollah, one of the leading Shiite paramilitary groups, said his organisation
had units ready to join the Ramadi
front from three directions.
Tomorrow, God willing, these
reinforcements will continue toward
Anbar and Ramadi and the start of
operations to cleanse the areas recently captured by Daesh will be
announced, Jaafar al-Husseini told
AFP, using an Arab acronym for IS.
The fall of Ramadi, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad,
came when beleaguered security
forces pulled out of their last bases
on May 17.
The jihadists used several waves
of suicide car bombs to thrust into

government-controlled neighbourhoods on May 14 and 15.


The black flag of IS was soon flying over the provincial headquarters
and, with reinforcements slow to
come, thousands of families fled the
city.
Anbar officials said at least 500
people died in three days.
Were continuing to monitor reports of tough fighting in Ramadi
and the situation remains fluid and
contested, Pentagon spokesperson
Maureen Schumann told AFP late on
May 17.
Muhannad Haimour, spokesperson and adviser to the Anbar governor, said fighting was continuing in
some pockets of the city. Iraqi military officials said all main security
bases had been abandoned.
Tensions between Tehran and
Washington, Baghdads two main
foreign partners, also played out
during the battle for executed dictator Saddam Husseins hometown of
Tikrit, which the government took
back last month.
Mr Abadi met the head of US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin,
on May 17, and yesterday Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan arrived in Baghdad for talks.
In the Syrian half of the caliphate Mr Baghdadi proclaimed last
year, IS failed to notch up what would
have been another high-profile military victory on the ground.
Government forces repelled an IS
advance on the ancient oasis town of
Palmyra that had sparked concern
that another jewel of the Middle
Easts architectural heritage could be
destroyed by the jihadists.
ISs attack was foiled, provincial
governor Talal Barazi said on May
17 after troops ousted the jihadists
from the northern part of the modern town, which they had seized on
May 16.
UNESCO has urged both sides to
spare Palmyra, which it describes as
one of the most important cultural
centres of the ancient world.
IS fighters remain within 1 kilometre (less than a mile) of the archaeological site and its museum of priceless artefacts, the Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based monitoring
group said nearly 300 people have
been killed in four days of fighting
123 soldiers and militiamen, 115 IS
fighters, and 57 civilians. AFP

Residents from the city of Ramadi flee their homes on May 16 after Islamic State
(IS) group militants tightened their siege on the last government positions in the
capital of Anbar province. Photo: AFP

THE European Union is set to back


plans for an ambitious naval force to
fight people smugglers in the Mediterranean after a series of shipwrecks
that killed hundreds of migrants.
The unprecedented mission starting in June will involve the deployment of warships and surveillance aircraft off the coast of Libya, the main
launching point for people risking
their lives to reach Europe.
Foreign and defence ministers are
set to approve the scheme a rare
joint military step for a 28-nation bloc
that historically prefers political and
financial action to armed cooperation
at a meeting in Brussels.
But the plan still risks being largely
toothless unless the EU wins a United
Nations resolution approving military
action against smugglers before their
boats reach European waters.
The EU wants to be able identify,
intercept and possibly to destroy the
smugglers vessels while their boats
are in Libyan waters in order to disrupt the traffickers business model.
But there no question of any EU
boots on the ground in Libya, which
has become a main launching point
for people traffickers since being
plunged into chaos with two rival governments and a significant number
of Islamic State militants, EU foreign
policy chief Federica Mogherini said

last week.
More than 5000 migrants, many
escaping civil war in Syria, have died
over the past 18 months while trying
to cross from North Africa, often on
flimsy rubber dinghies or crowded
fishing boats.
After yesterdays decision the ministers are expected to ask the European military authorities to set up the
mission, sources said. It should then
be formally launched at an EU summit in June.
Leading countries in the EU Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain
have already promised to deploy
warships for the mission to tackle the
smugglers in the Mediterranean.
The headquarters of the mission,
called EU Navfor Med, is to be in
Rome and will be led by Italian Rear
Admiral Enrico Credendino, a European diplomat told AFP.
The naval operation is part of a
wider EU blueprint launched by European Commission chief Jean-Claude
Juncker last week.
Pressure has grown on governments to act after an overcrowded migrant boat sank in the Mediterranean
last month, leaving more than 750
dead in a case that sparked international outrage.
But parts of the plan particularly
quotas for distributing asylum seeker

arrivals around the EU are causing


deep divisions.
Britain says it will not take part in
the quota system and has called for
economic migrants to be pushed back
to where they came from.
It received unexpected support
from French Prime Minister Manuel
Valls, who rejected the quota plan at
the weekend, while Hungary, Poland,
the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania and Slovakia have also spoken out against it.
The EU naval force would have to
deal with traffickers who are often
heavily armed and have often charged
their victims thousands of dollars for
the risky passage.
Brussels wants to take the operation step-by-step, starting by collecting intelligence on the traffickers by
using radar, satellite pictures and reconnaissance flights and raiding unflagged boats.
If the EU wants ships from its
members states to enter Libyan waters or capture a boat flying a foreign
flag, it needs the green light from the
UN under international law.
German Foreign Minister FrankWalter Steinmeier said last week at a
meeting of NATO foreign ministers in
Turkey that he expected UN approval
to be forthcoming, with Russia overcoming initial scepticism. AFP

BUJUMBURA

Instability as Burundi protests continue


Separatists gather in the port city of Aden, as battles against Shiite Huthi rebels continue, on May 17. A UN envoy called for an extension of a humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen due to expire on May 17 as the
Huthi Shiite rebels boycotted political talks in Riyadh. Photo: AFP

SANAA

After humanitarian truce, strikes resume


Saudi-led coalition air strikes resumed against rebel positions in Yemens south after a five-day ceasefire expired late on May 17, despite a UN
envoys calls for an extension of the truce
THE humanitarian ceasefire that
began late on May 12 expired at
8pm GMT on May 17 with no word
from the coalition, which had repeatedly accused the rebels of violations, on where the truce stands.
An hour after the deadline, air
raids hit the rebel-held presidential
palace in main southern city Aden
as well as a base of the pro-rebel
special forces in the same city, military officials and witnesses said.
The raids came despite calls by
UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould
Cheikh Ahmed to extend the ceasefire.
I call on all parties to renew
their commitment to this truce
for five more days at least, Ould
Cheikh Ahmed said earlier in Riyadh.
This
humanitarian
truce
should turn into a permanent
ceasefire.
His appeal followed clashes between rebels and pro-government
forces across south Yemen on May
16 despite the truce, which has
largely held since starting on May
12 at 8pm GMT.
The official Saudi Press Agency
reported that the UN envoy met
Saudi chief of staff Lieutenant

General Abdulrahman bin Saleh


al-Bunyan and discussed humanitarian aid efforts in Yemen.
Aid groups have called for a
lasting truce in the impoverished
country, where a Saudi-led regional coalition has waged an air war
on Iran-backed Huthis and their
allies since late March.
Yemeni political parties began
talks on May 17 in the Saudi capital
aimed at finding a solution to the
crisis.
But the Huthis stayed away
from the meeting of some 400
delegates including President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has
taken refuge in Riyadh.
Mr Hadi repeated accusations
that the rebels had staged a coup.
We are trying to regain our
nation from militias backed by
external forces, he said in a reference to Iran, which has denied
arming the rebels.
An Iranian aid ship bound for
Yemen in defiance of US warnings
has entered the Gulf of Aden and is
expected to dock on May 21, media
in Tehran reported.
Its mission has been overshadowed by US calls for it to head to
a UN emergency relief hub in Dji-

bouti instead of the Yemeni port of


Hodeida.
Clashes raged overnight on
May 16 in the central city of Taez
between Huthis supported by
troops loyal to ousted president
Ali Abdullah Saleh and pro-Hadi
forces.
The rebels, who seized Sanaa in
September and have since swept
across many other regions, bombed
a village south of Taez, killing 14 civilians, a local official said.
Sporadic clashes also continued
in Aden, the scene of fierce fighting since rebels advanced on the
southern port in late March after
Mr Hadi took refuge there.
Aden health chief Al-Khader
Laswar said four people were
killed in clashes May 17 and 39
were wounded, among them two
children and four women.
Mr Laswar has said that 517 civilians and pro-Hadi fighters have
been killed there in the past 50
days.
The toll includes 76 women and
children, he said.
Quoted by the government news
agency Sabanew.net, Mr Laswar
said he could not provide a toll for
the rebels.

He added that 3461 people


were wounded, and said most
Aden hospitals were currently out
of service as most medics have
fled.
The United Nations has expressed deep concern about the
civilian death toll from the Saudiled bombing as well as the humanitarian impact of an air and
sea blockade imposed by the coalition.
It says more than 1,600 people
have died in the conflict since late
March.
Some aid has trickled in since
the pause in fighting, but residents of areas where clashes persist complain that they lack the
most basic supplies.
The UN childrens agency
(UNICEF) said in a statement it
was distributing critical humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of children and affected civilians across Yemen.
In the past four days of the
pause, UNICEF has prepositioned
supplies in health offices and centres which will provide primary
health care to over 24,000 people
and treat 3,500 severely malnourished children, it said.

But in the south, distribution


and services have been slow as a
result of the continuing violence.
Sanaa residents echoed calls
for a ceasefire extension.
We dont care about food or
water as much as we need security.
We hope that this truce becomes
permanent, said Umm Hisham.
But in the southern city of
Daleh, people said the rebels exploited the truce.
The Huthi militia exploited
the ceasefire to bomb citizens...
We want coalition forces to resume attacks on these militia,
said Ali al-Assmar.
We are not benefiting from the
truce. The humanitarian aid for
Daleh was confiscated by Huthis
and Saleh forces, he said.
The Huthis are boycotting the
three-day meeting in Riyadh, insisting that the talks be held in
Yemen instead.
However, Yemens Vice-President Khaled Bahah told AFP that
he expected the Huthis would
attend future talks, and several
representatives of Salehs General
Peoples Congress party did attend.
AFP

PROTESTERS opposed to Burundi


President Pierre Nkurunziza launched
fresh demonstrations yesterday, resuming weeks of street marches after
a failed coup despite warnings from
the government.
Small groups gathered in several
parts of the capital Bujumbura, singing songs and blowing whistles, each
time chased away by soldiers shooting
in the air, then regrouping elsewhere.
Lets end fear, regain our momentum, said Pacifique Nininahazwe, a
leading figure of the protest against
Mr Nkurunzizas bid for a third term
in power.
At least 20 people died in street
battles with security forces before the
demonstrations ended when generals
launched a failed coup attempt last
week.
Mr Nininahazwe called for a
peaceful march, no insults and no
stones to be thrown.

We stop when police confront us,


we sit with hands in the air, then we
resume walking, he said, in a message
spread via social media, after four key
independent radios were closed by the
authorities.
Bujumbura mayor Juma Saidi,
speaking on state television on May 17,
warned demonstrators will be considered as part of the coup, and security forces have been ordered to treat
them as such.
A group of top generals on May 13
launched a bid to oust Mr Nkurunziza
while he was on a visit to neighbouring Tanzania after almost three weeks
of protests over his controversial bid
to stand again for office.
Mr Nkurunziza has been accused
of launching a campaign of repression against opponents and trying to
silence independent media since coup
leaders admitted defeat on May 15 after fierce fighting with loyalist troops.

Seventeen alleged plotters appeared in court on May 16, including


a former defence minister and two top
police commissioners, to face accusations of attempting to overthrow the
state.
Opposition and rights groups insist
that Mr Nkurunzizas bid for a third
five-year term is against the constitution and the terms of the peace deal
that brought an end to the countrys
civil war in 2006.
The president has also been accused of intimidating opponents and
failing to lift the fortunes of small
landlocked Burundi, one of the poorest countries on the planet.
Mr Nkurunziza, a former rebel
leader and born-again Christian who
believes he has divine backing to lead
the country, argues his first term did
not count as he was elected by parliament, not directly by the people.
AFP

BRUSSELS

NATO chief warns on migrants


NATO head Jens Stoltenberg warned
yesterday that fighters from Islamic
extremist groups may hide among the
flood of migrants seeking refuge in
Europe, increasing the need for an effective response.
Mr Stoltenbergs comments came
as he attended a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers which was
set to approve the blocs plan for a naval operation to tackle people smugglers operating mainly out of Libya.
First of all this is a human tragedy.
People are losing their lives trying to
cross the Mediterranean, Mr Stoltenberg said when asked about reports

the Islamic State group was trying to


smuggle fighters into Europe by hiding them on migrant boats.
Of course one of the problems is
that there might be foreign fighters.
There might be terrorists trying to
hide, trying to blend in among the migrants, he added.
And this underlines the importance that we have to respond to this
turmoil.
Western officials often use the term
foreign fighters to describe people
from Europe and the Middle East who
have travelled to fight with IS in Iraq
and Syria.

Mr Stoltenberg cited NATOs own


efforts to work with countries in
North Africa and the Middle East to
tackle the root causes of the migrant
problem.
But he stressed that the US-led military alliance was not for the moment
taking part in the EUs unprecedented
naval mission, which follows a series
of deadly shipwrecks of migrant boats
in the Mediterranean.
Mr Stoltenberg said that so far
the 28-nation EU had not asked for
help from NATO but the alliance was
ready to help if there is a request.
AFP

16 World
JERUSALEM

Still time
to stop Iran
arms bid,
says Israel
ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on May 17 there was still
time to stop an Iranian agreement with
world powers that he says would give
Tehran nuclear arms.
Its still not too late to retract the
plan that gives Iran an agreement
which will pave it a road to a nuclear
weapon, he said at a ceremony marking Israels capture of Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.
The US as well as Britain, China,
France, Russia and Germany are in the
midst of negotiations with Tehran to
finalise a deal by June 30 that would
prevent Iran from developing nuclear
weapons, in exchange for an easing of
crippling economic sanctions.
Israel says that Iran cannot be trusted to honour the nascent deal, which is
full of loopholes.
We oppose this deal and we are not
the only ones, Mr Netanyahu said. It
is necessary and possible to achieve a
better deal.
Arab and largely Sunni Muslim
states of the Gulf fear a nuclear deal
could be a harbinger of closer US ties
with their Shiite arch-foe Iran, a country they also see as fuelling conflicts in
Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
US President Barack Obama tried to
reassure Americas Gulf allies at a Camp
David summit that engaging with Iran
would not come at their expense.
Iran has long asserted its nuclear
program is for energy purposes, and
that concern about it seeking a nuclear
bomb is misplaced. AFP

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 19, 2015

SEOUL

US tables sanctions in wake


of N Korea muscle flexing
US Secretary of State John Kerry
warned North Korea yesterday
of possible fresh sanctions as he
slammed Kim Jong-Uns egregious leadership with its reliance
on reckless provocation and grotesque executions.
Speaking in the South Korean
capital Seoul, Mr Kerry said the
recent test of a new submarinelaunched ballistic missile (SLBM)
showed that North Korea had no
genuine interest in engaging with
the international community.
Instead, it continues to pursue
nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, it continues to break promises
and make threats and it continues
to show flagrant disregard for international laws, he told a joint press
conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byong-Se.
That is why it is important for
us to ramp up international pressure for North Korea to change its
behaviour, he added, citing the
possible use of further sanctions
or other means to force Pyongyang
to change course.
The impoverished but nucleararmed state is already heavily sanctioned following a series of nuclear
and missile tests staged in violation
of UN resolutions.
Just over a week ago, the North
said it had successfully test-fired an
SLBM, defying a UN ban on its use
or testing of ballistic missile technology.
A fully-developed SLBM capability would take the North Korean nuclear threat to a new level,

allowing deployment far beyond


the Korean peninsula and the potential to retaliate in the event of a
nuclear attack.
In a scathing attack on Kim
Jong-Un, Mr Kerry said his leadership was one of the most egregious
displays ... anywhere on the planet
of reckless disregard for human
rights.
He specifically cited stories of
grotesque, grisly, horrendous public
displays of executions carried out
on a personal whim by Mr Kim
often against those closest to him.

[North Korea]
continues to
pursue nuclear
weapons and
ballistic missiles,
it continues to
break promises and
make threats and it
continues to show
flagrant disregard
for international
laws.

John Kerry
US secretary of state

South Koreas intelligence agency


reported last week that North Koreas defence minister, Hyon YongChol, had been purged and most
likely executed for insubordination
and dozing off during a formal military rally.
The agency said it had unverified reports that the execution had
been carried out at close range with
a high-calibre anti-aircraft gun.
A previous agency report said
Mr Kim had ordered the execution
of 15 other senior officials so far this
year, including two vice ministers,
for questioning his authority.
Mr Kerry said it was absolutely
critical for the international community to keep shedding light on
human rights violations, after a UN
report last year detailed widespread
abuses and recommended Pyongyang be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
If their horrific conduct continues, its hard to see how that referral to the criminal court would not
take place, Mr Kerry said.
In an effort to revive long-stalled
denuclearisation talks, Washington
has said it is open to discussions
with Pyongyang, but Mr Kerry reiterated that the North Korean leadership must show a genuine commitment to reining in its nuclear
program.
To this moment, particularly
with its recent provocations, it is
clear that (North Korea) has not
even come close to meeting that
standard, he said.
Mr Kerry, who held talks earlier

in the morning with President Park


Geun-Hye, insisted that the USSouth Korea military alliance was
stronger than ever in the face of
the Norths belligerence.
South Korea hosts a permanent
deployment of almost 30,000 US
troops and holds annual joint exercises that rehearse numerous conflict scenarios with the North.
Let me underscore, there is no
daylight, not an inch, not a centimetre ... of difference between the
United States and South Korea in
our approach to the question of
North Koreas provocations and its
nuclear program, Mr Kerry said.
A recent report by US researchers warned that North Korea appeared poised to expand that program over the next five years and, in
a worst-case scenario, could possess
100 atomic weapons by 2020.
North Korea carried out nuclear
tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
Later yesterday Mr Kerry was
scheduled to give a comprehensive
foreign policy speech on the use
of cyber-space, including issues of
cyber-security.
Seoul has blamed North Korean
hackers for a series of serious cyber-attacks on military institutions,
banks, government agencies, TV
broadcasters and media websites in
recent years.
The United States also blamed
the North for a cyber-attack on
Sony Pictures over its North Koreathemed satire The Interview last
year.
AFP

SYDNEY

PNG clamps down on


Bouganville entry for
Australian citizens
PAPUA New Guinea has banned
Australians from travelling to the
politically sensitive autonomous
region of Bougainville, officials
said yesterday, after Canberra
announced plans to open a
diplomatic mission there.
Australia revealed proposals
for a new mission in resource-rich
Bougainville last week, ahead of
an independence referendum expected to be held within the next
five years.
PNG Prime Minister Peter
ONeill earlier said the plans came
as a shock and he had not been
consulted on them.
The Papua New Guinea
government has announced a
ban on travel to Bougainville by
Australian
passport-holders
on tourist, business and other
short-term entry visas, the
Australian Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade said in a travel
advisory.
Authorities have announced
that the ban will not affect Australians residing in Bougainville
on work and permanent resident
visas.
Bougainville was promised the
right to hold an independence
referendum between 2015 and 2020
under a peace agreement made in
2001 which followed an almost
decade-long, bitter guerrilla war.
Bougainvilles
separatist
conflict was the bloodiest in the

Pacific since World War II,


and ended when the New Zealand
government helped broker a truce
signed by all factions in 1997,
but not before some 10,000 people
had died.
Elections
are
currently
underway on the island. It is
expected that the new government, which will be announced in
June, will call for the referendum
to be held.
PNGs Mr ONeill said last week
that there had been no agreement
with Canberra to set up a mission
on Bougainville, and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato would investigate.
As we respect the territorial integrity of others, we expect
others to respect ours as well, Mr
ONeill said at the time.
Mr Pato issued a statement
yesterday saying he had instructed the chief migration officer to
impose the ban with immediate
effect, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.
All diplomatic and foreign
government officials wishing
to visit Bougainville must seek
clearance from the Department of
Foreign Affairs before travelling,
the ABC cited him as saying.
Australias Foreign Minister
Julie Bishop said the mission in
Buka had been discussed between
officials from both countries last
year. AFP

IN PICTURES

Photo: AFP

Villagers walk along the bank of the Nu river near Gongshan,


in southwest Chinas Yunnan province on May 18. The Chinese
government plans several dams on the Nu river, also known
as the Thanlwin or Salween, which flows from Tibet through
Yunnan then south through Myanmar and Thailand, and is
the last major undammed river in Southeast Asia.

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
PESHAWAR

No choice: Pakistanis forced to fight


HUNDREDS of thousands of Pakistanis displaced by anti-Taliban military operations in tribal areas wish
only to return home but first they
have to agree to fight the extremists
themselves.
Its social engineering unheard of
in the recent war on terror: displace
an entire population, fight the insurgents who remain, then bring back
those uprooted and charge them with
keeping the militants at bay.
And this time, North Waziristans
displaced have little choice but to
accept.
June marks one year since the
army launched an offensive in this
region of northwest Pakistan, which
became a refuge for jihadists after
the Afghan Taliban was driven from
power across the border.
On the Talibans fall in 2001, tribal
chiefs welcomed them with open
arms, or were forced to, transforming the area into a hub for the global
jihadi movement, hosting fighters
from al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network
and European apprentice militants,
targeted by US drone strikes.
But in launching their operation last year, the Pakistani army
pushed out hundreds of thousands
of ordinary Waziris, who today live
in camps, with relatives, or in rented
hovels in the tribal areas.
We know that everything there
is destroyed: the bazaars, the houses,
the schools and the religious seminaries, says Malik Khan Marjan, who
heads North Waziristans tribal alliance and is desperate to go home.
But we have no information
about what exactly is happening
there on the ground.
The Pakistani authorities say
67,000 homes in the tribal belt have
been completely destroyed, but there
has been no independent assessment
of the scale of the damage.
The country has asked the international community for US$800 mil-

A Pakistani tribesman who fled his home after a military operation against Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal
agency plays with a child inside a tent in a camp for refugees in Peshawar on April 10. Photo: AFP

lion to rebuild and rehabilitate the


tribal areas where 2 million people,
out of a total population of 4.6 million inhabitants, have been displaced
by the fighting in recent years.
But since people were initially allowed to return from March onward
triggering a process that will be
spread out over two years as areas
are cleared by the military less than
300 families have returned to North
Waziristan.
Indeed, to return at all, residents
must sign a code of conduct which
has left many Waziris angry.
The code, officially titled a social
contract, prescribes that tribes affirm their loyalty to Pakistan and
recognise their responsibility for

the proliferation of jihadists in the


area in the past decade.
Tribes are required to pledge that
they will not allow any terrorists,
internal or external, to use the land
of North Waziristan for terrorism,
are obliged to form 40-man militias
known as the Qoomi Salweeshi to
deny jihadists refuge, and must report on the movements of the enemy.
Were a tribe to fail in the responsibilities laid out in pledge, the contract says the government will be
free to conduct any operation in that
area.
The burden of consequences of
any losses in such operations will be
on the tribe and the tribe will have

no right to ask for any compensation


from the government, the document
says.
Tribal leaders have bristled at the
notion they must pledge loyalty to
Pakistan, noting they fought for their
country in disputed Kashmir shortly
after 1947 independence, and against
Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the
1980s, before having to sacrifice
their homes for the recent offensive.
The government is seeking support from us but what type of support? asks tribal leader Malik Niaz
Khan.
We have no means to defend
ourselves. It is the government that
should protect us.
Others complain that Pakistanis

elsewhere in the country are not


being required to sign any such
document.
Has the government asked for
these guarantees from people in Baluchistan, in Karachi and elsewhere?
says Mohammad Malik Noor, another
tribal chief.
We cannot be faulted for anything so why do they ask for this
guarantee?
According to one researcher, the
contract is evidence of a government
that has sought to pin the blame on
tribes, rather than looking inward to
its own mandarins, spies and soldiers.
It is blaming the tribesmen for
whatever has happened in tribal areas, and specially in North Waziristan,
for the last eight to nine years, says
Saifullah Khan Mehsud, director of
the FATA Research Centre, an independent organisation.
It is putting the blame of all of
that on them.
Even those who sign the pledge
and return to North Waziristan face
myriad restrictions, ranging from
requiring military approval to travel
between villages, out of the tribal
belt, or to import goods.
We now need a permit to import
oranges, quips one North Waziristan
resident.
For those in the camps, the choice
to return to their homeland in the
tribal areas whether it be North
Waziristan or elsewhere remains a
daunting one.
We are afraid to return, admits
Jan Badshah, who is originally from
the Khyber tribal area, which has also
been subject to an army offensive.
There was shelling, fighting, people dying, he says, sitting in a tent
transformed into a sauna by the
scorching sun.
We will stay here as long as the
war is continuing, he continues.
God only knows when it will end.
AFP

WASHINGTON

Senator pushes to get global warming on the agenda


SENATOR Sheldon Whitehouse often
speaks to an empty chamber, unheard
and unheeded by colleagues. But he
refuses to be deterred, repeatedly
imploring global warming sceptics to
wake up and stop courting environmental catastrophe.
Yesterday the two-term Democrat
offered his 100th Senate floor speech
on climate change an unprecedented
three-year odyssey demanding Republicans address what he believes is one
of the most pressing concerns of the
21st century.
But even Mr Whitehouse acknowledges that precious little has been
achieved since he launched the marathon speech series in 2012.
A major cap and trade bill limiting carbon emissions passed the House
early in President Barack Obamas
presidency but died in the Senate.
The administration has since proposed strict powerplant emission regulations, but Republicans want them
rolled back.
When Mr Obama and China agreed
last November to reduce carbon pollution, Republicans vowed to thwart that
too.
Mr Obama supports expanding
clean energy, but Republicans scoff at
renewable efforts and seek to expand
coal production.
This is a little embarrassing, an exasperated Mr Whitehouse, 59, told AFP
in an interview.
We who sell ourselves ... as the exemplar of democracy have a problem
before us that the whole world increasingly sees as a problem and on which

the whole world is increasingly turning


to us for leadership, and we cant cope
at all.
Mr Whitehouse studies effects of
rising oceans on his coastal state of
Rhode Island, where he has comforted
families whose homes have slid into
the sea and fishermen who have seen
winter flounder fish disappear from
Narragansett Bays warming waters.
Standing in the Senate beside a
frayed green placard displaying Earth
and the distinct Time to Wake Up
slogan, Mr Whitehouse points to the 97
percent of climate scientists agreeing
that human activity accelerates climate
change.
Then he hammers Republicans as
they sleepwalk toward disaster, and
berates the fossil fuel industry which
he says threatens any lawmaker who
crosses it.
You have an extremely determined,
very tough incumbent industry engaged in a very forceful campaign of
both disinformation and full-on political influence peddling, hanging on for
dear life and trying to essentially bully
the Republican Party into being its political wing, he said.
While companies like Coca-Cola
and Walmart seek to reduce their carbon footprints, members of Congress
bury their heads in the sand, he said.
In his 98th speech, May 6, Mr Whitehouse unapologetically compared the
fossil fuel industry to cigarette manufacturers misleading Americans on
health consequences of smoking.
Just as Big Tobacco dismissed cancer studies, conservative institutes

banded together with oil and gas firms


to undermine climate science, Mr
Whitehouse said.
His chief nemesis is Republican
James Inhofe, the climate-denying
chair of the Senates environment committee.
Mr Inhofe has declared man-made
climate change a hoax and globalwarming evidence laughable, and in
January he threw a snowball in the
Senate, an apparent dismissal of global
warming.
Despite Mr Inhofes power, Mr
Whitehouse attacked his views as in
the outer fringes of outlandish and
unsupported by science.
Senator Mr Whitehouse is a hero
in championing this issue, said Henry
Waxman, a 40-year congressman who
retired in January, himself leaving an
extraordinary environmental legacy.
Mr Whitehouse insists his speeches have yielded progress, including
greater awareness within Senate
caucuses.
Yet a new crop of climate sceptics
won seats in Congress last November,
including James Lankford, who dismissed global warming as a myth.
More than half of congressional Republicans reportedly have doubted humanitys effect on climate change.
But Mr Whitehouse believes pressure on Congress, and a looming
presidential election, is eroding this
position.
By the time November 2016 comes
around, I dont think a Republican
presidential candidate is electable who
is still saying, Climate change is a hoax,

or Im not a scientist.
Presidential politics could explain
why Republicans, including Mr Inhofe, recently supported legislation
acknowledging climate change is real
although it said nothing about humanitys role.
It was a strategic retreat from an
indefensible position, Mr Whitehouse

said, adding the issue could tip further


with Americans clamouring for change.
Republicans often approach him
and urge me to hang in there, and that
they want to be with me, but they cant
get there yet, he added.
Why? No senator wants to be the
first admiral hanged for crossing the
fossil fuel industry. AFP

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse holds a sign about global warming. Photo: AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 19, 2015

MANILA

After factory blaze, blame game begins


PHILIPPINE officials have called
for criminal penalties for factory
owners who violate safety standards
days after a deadly fire at a footwear
plant claimed 72 lives.
Occupational safety standards
were adopted by the Asian nation
in 1978 but lack teeth because parliament has failed to pass a law imposing penalties against violators,
Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz
said.
I [can] not overemphasise its
importance and the timeliness of
our plea to our lawmakers in the
light of accidents in our workplaces, some of which have injured and
claimed the lives of our workers,
she said in a statement on May 17.
A huge fire that killed 72 people
and gutted a flip-flop factory in a
Manila suburb on May 13 exposed
the unsafe conditions many work
under across the nation.
Ms Baldoz has called the factorys owners immoral and accused
them of a raft of illegal labour practices.
Relatives of the victims told AFP
the workers were paid well below
the minimum wage of 481 pesos
(US$10.90) a day and forced to toil
12-hour shifts, seven days a week
without overtime pay.

They said legally required social security and health insurance


payments were also withheld, and
workers were forced to constantly
inhale foul-smelling chemicals.
A lawyer for the gutted footwear
factory has rejected allegations it
had flouted labour laws.
Ms Baldoz said the legislature
has yet to act on three related bills,
including one imposing criminal
penalties for non-compliance with
occupational safety and health
standards.
The second bill calls for occupational safety regulations in the
construction industry and the third
would require protective equipment
and uniform warnings at work places, she added.
Some of the proposed measures
were drawn up as early as 2011, Ms
Baldoz added.
Rex Gatchalian, mayor of the industrial district of Valenzuela that
hosted the footwear factory, also
urged the government to outlaw
the practice of paying workers only
when they reach a certain production quota.
This is a practice that we see
everywhere .... Its technically illegal, he said in an interview over
ABS-CBN television. AFP

A child touches a portrait of his missing mother, a footwear factory worker, during a special mass in Manila on May 17 for
72 people who were killed when a fire gutted the factory on May 13. Photo: AFP

BEIJING

KUALA LUMPUR

Smooth sailing on
the South China Sea,
Xi tells Kerry

Anwars wife sworn in to his seat

CHINAS relationship with the US


is stable despite tensions in the
South China Sea, President Xi Jinping told top American diplomat
John Kerry on May 17, adding that
the Pacific Ocean is vast enough
for both powers, state media said.
Mr Xi met with Mr Kerry in Beijing as tensions between the worlds
two biggest economies mount over
Chinese island-building in strategic but disputed waters.
The United States is weighing
sending warships and surveillance
aircraft within 12 nautical miles
the normal territorial zone around
natural land of artificial islands
that Beijing is building in the
South China Sea.
Such a deployment could lead to
a standoff on the high seas in an
area home to vital global shipping
lanes.

The broad Pacific


Ocean is vast
enough to embrace
both China and
the United States.
Xi Jinping
President of China

Beijing regards almost the whole


of the South China Sea as its own,
and satellite images show China is
rapidly building an airstrip on an
artificial island in the Spratly archipelago, which is also claimed in
whole or part by US ally the Philippines, and Vietnam, among others.
But on May 17 Mr Xi told Mr
Kerry that, in his view, relations
between the two countries have
remained stable on the whole,
according to state-run news agency

Xinhua.
The broad Pacific Ocean is vast
enough to embrace both China and
the United States, Mr Xi said.
He called for the two sides to
handle disputes in an appropriate
way so that the general direction of
the bilateral relationship will not
be affected.
The new type of China-US
relationship has witnessed early
harvest, he added.
Xinhua news agency said Mr
Kerry, who arrived in China on May
16, echoed Mr Xis evaluation of
bilateral ties before the two met for
talks behind closed doors.
Chinese leaders had been defiant in talks with Mr Kerry on May
16, with Foreign Minister Wang
Yi telling him that Beijing was
unshakeable in its defence of
sovereignty.
Mr Kerry appeared less assertive
in public, saying at a press conference May 16 that Washington was
concerned about the pace and
scope of Chinas land reclamation.
He urged Beijing to take actions that will join with everyone
to reduce tensions.
Senior
State
Department
officials had said ahead of the
meeting that Mr Kerry would
take a tough line and leave his
Chinese interlocutors in absolutely
no doubt that the United States
remains committed to maintaining
freedom of navigation.
An American naval commander
has dubbed Beijings massive land
reclamation effort as Chinas great
wall of sand.
Mr Xi is due to pay a state visit
to the United States in September,
and Xinhua said he looked forward
to discussing bilateral ties with
US President Barack Obama in a
candid and in-depth way.
Mr Kerry flew to Seoul in
South Korea later on May 16.
AFP

WAN Azizah Wan Ismail was sworn


into Malaysias parliament as opposition leader yesterday after winning
the seat vacated by her husband Anwar Ibrahim when he was jailed for a
sodomy conviction.
Her return to parliament after
seven years marks the second time
that Ms Wan Azizah, 62, has stepped
in to lead the opposition after one of
her husbands controversial imprisonments.
She faces the task of healing sharp
divisions within the diverse threeparty opposition alliance that Mr Anwar has led to the brink of power but
whose future is now uncertain with
the removal of its central figure.
My victory (in the election) is
a clear signal that Anwars reform
struggle remains relevant and must
be continued, Ms Wan Azizah said in
a statement.
Earlier this month, Ms Wan Azizah, a Western-trained doctor and
mother of six, won a by-election for

Mr Anwars seat.
Mr Anwar was jailed in February for five years on charges that he
sodomised a former male aide, a case
he says was fabricated by the government of the Muslim-majority country
to weaken the opposition.
The prison term threatens to permanently end his political career. Mr
Anwar is now 68 years old.
Wan Azizah had earlier won the
same seat in 1999, replacing Anwar
as she rode a wave of public outrage
over his sacking as deputy prime
minister in Malaysias long-ruling
government.
Ousted in a power struggle, Mr
Anwar spent six years in jail on previous sodomy and corruption charges
widely considered politically motivated.
Ms Wan Azizah, who wears a Muslim headscarf, later vacated the seat
in 2008 to allow her husbands return
to parliament after his release.
Under the charismatic Mr Anwar,

the once-fragmented opposition has


achieved unprecedented gains.
It won the popular vote in 2013
polls but the ruling coalition that has
dominated Malaysia for decades held
on to power.
The opposition has since been
riven by internal bickering sparked
by a bid launched in March by the
conservative Pan-Malaysian Islamic
Party (PAS), part of the opposition
alliance, to implement harsh sharialaw punishments in a state it governs, despite an earlier pledge not to.
The penalties would include amputation for theft, and stoning to
death for adultery.
The campaign is expected to fail
as it violates the constitution, but
the infighting has highlighted widely
held doubts about the alliances cohesion.
Ms Wan Azizah joins her eldest
daughter with Mr Anwar Ms Nurul
Izzah Anwar, 34 in parliament.
AFP

KUALA LUMPUR

Nepal appeals for funds to rebuild


NEPALS prime minister on May 17
appealed for US$2 billion to rebuild
his country, shattered by two massive
earthquakes in three weeks that have
killed thousands and devastated the
impoverished nations infrastructure.
On April 25 a 7.8-magnitude
quake, the deadliest to hit the country in more than 80 years, killed more
than 8500 people and destroyed half
a million homes.
That was followed weeks later by
a second massive tremor that triggered landslides and brought down
houses, triggering fresh misery for
people still traumatised by the earlier
quake.
The disasters have also left their
mark on the impoverished Himalayan nations infrastructure and development.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala,
whose year-old government has

faced criticism over the speed of its


response to the quakes, said on May
17 that the administration has set up
a national rehabilitation and reconstruction fund, and urged donors to
help.
Our target is to raise $2 billion.
Government has earmarked $200
million as a seed money for the fund
with a request to donors communities and private sector to make necessary contribution, Mr Koirala said.
Rehabilitation and reconstruction is very important for us and we
hope our friends will come with a
large heart to assist.
More than 20 countries have been
involved in relief efforts since the
first quake struck, sending rescuers
to help search for survivors and aid
in relief efforts.
Earlier this month the UN said it
had received just $22 million of the

$415 million it had appealed for following the disasters.


A US marine helicopter delivering
aid went missing last week and was
found crashed in a remote forest on
May 15. According to the Nepalese
army, the bodies of eight servicemen
on board, six American and two Nepalese, were recovered and brought to
the capital Kathmandu on May 17.
Aid agencies have warned of a
race against time to provide shelter
and bring relief to victims before
the approaching monsoon season
triggers more landslides and blocks
access to quake-hit villages located
along the Himalayan nations hills
and mountains.
Koiralas government has said
it was overwhelmed by the scale of
the April 25 earthquake, and that
the country was unprepared for the
second tremor. AFP

it

Bonsai

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 19, 2015

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

CHIT SU

gardener finds
inner peace
in plants

suwai.chit@gmail.com

HE garden is small. Miniature, in fact. A dusty lane


passes under trees, but though the leaves and the
fruit are perfectly formed, no tree is more than 2
feet high.
Welcome to the tiny world of bonsai, the Japanese
art of growing dwarf trees in containers. The garden, in Thanlyin,
is owned by U Khin Nyo, 89.
I learned everything I know about bonsai from books
published in Japan, he said.
You cant eat the fruit. But the trees are beautifully
decorative. Plants are like hair. You can arrange them in different
styles for better effect.
He has been planting trees since he was 13, growing up in
what is now Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region, but was then a British
colonial town.
The British built a botanical garden in Pathein, complete

with a statue of King George, and with all kinds of trees, even
rare ones like date-palms and pine trees. I loved that garden and
used to go there all the time. Thats when I started my hobby of
planting trees, he said. He started with Canna lilies.
As a student at a teacher training institute in 1954 he studied
agriculture.
I invented a Croton plant with 31 kinds of branches, all
different: some were curved, some straight. They had different
colours, with big or small leaves. No two branches were alike, all
on the same tree, he said.
In 1961, shortly before he moved to Yangon, U Khin Nyo won a
special prize in Patheins fruit and plants exhibition. In Yangon,
I found a book about bonsai plants in English, but produced in
Japan. That was my first step, he said.
His first bonsai plants were gold mohur trees.
I chose them because the mohur trees near my house burned

down. I was sorry to lose them, so I grew new ones.


Finding that there was not much planting to be done in
Yangon, he moved to Thanlyin, and has lived there ever since.
He cultivated the golden mohur trees for 44 years. In 2007, U
Khin Nyo had the chance to show his art in a solo exhibition in
Thanlyin.
Trees live long, people not so much. When his wife died,
U Khin Nyo could no longer tend his trees with the care they
deserved. I had 5000 plants. I could not bear to watch them
die, so I sold them to a man who asked to buy them. He paid me
US$500. He lives with his daughter.
Now, he has only 200 plants. Though bonsai cultivation is
difficult and time-consuming, he still plants.
I will never sell these. They are like children to me. he said.
I want everybody to plant trees. It is like meditation. Plants
can give us inner peace, he said.

U Khin Nyos bonsai garden. Photos: Chit Su

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com
LAGOS

Africa the next China


for contemporary art
CeCiLe De COmArmOND

ILES Peppiatt, from


Bonhams in London, had
good reason to make the
trip to Nigerias financial
capital, Lagos, for the
auction houses next sale of African art
a glut of potential buyers.
on a recent visit, he described Africa
as one of our hottest properties on the
art block.
In some ways, Africa is the new
China when it comes to art, he added.
We are investing time, money and
people to maintain our presence in this
market.
Bonhams has blazed a trail in the
sector, having organised its first Africa
Now sale of modern and contemporary African art in 2007, which has
since become an annual event.
Among its most expensive sales was
Arab Priest (1945) by South African
painter Irma Stern, which was bought
by the Qatar Museums Authority for
just over 3 million pounds (US$4.7
million) in 2011.
New World Map (2009) one of
Ghanaian artist El Anatsuis tapestries
embroidered from crushed aluminium
bottle tops and copper wire went for
nearly 550,000 ($864,820) the following year.
A series of seven wooden sculptures
by Nigerias Ben Enwonwu fetched

A man looks at a poster featuring part


of a piece by late South African painter
Irma Stern during an exhibition of
African art by Bonhams in Lagos.

361,250 ($568,029) triple the estimate price.


Leading African artists were virtually absent from art sales just a decade
ago but now contemporary works
feature strongly in sales at several international auction houses.
Another El Anatsui tapestry sold for

$1.4 million at Sothebys.


When institutions such as the Tate
[in London] and the Smithsonian [in
Washington dC] start to acquire contemporary African art, one then knows
something wonderful has occurred,
said Peppiatt.
on the back of successful sales in
recent years, Bonhams is specialising
even more this year, with a selection of
modern art going under the hammer
this month and contemporary art in
october.
In Africa, the Zinsou foundations
Museum of Contemporary African
Art in ouidah, Benin, and and the
forthcoming opening of the huge Zeitz
Museum of Contemporary Art in Cape
Town, South Africa, are clear signs of
the increasing interest of collectors.
Most of the buyers at Bonhams Africa Now sales are African, explained
Peppiatt.
A lot of collectors are very wealthy
Nigerian businessmen, he added.
Nigerian art collectors want a piece
of their own culture and heritage and
are prepared to invest in that, added
Bonhams representative in Lagos, Neil
Coventry.
Whats fascinating is that these
pieces are being found all over the
world. In some cases they are coming
back to Nigeria where they are valued
and appreciated the most.
Coventry, whose living room walls at

A piece by late Nigerian sculptor Ben Enwonwu is displayed during an exhibition


of African art by Bonhams in Lagos. Photos: AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei

his house overlooking the Lagos lagoon


are covered with major Nigerian works
of art, cites the example of Enwonwu.
The painter and sculptor, who died
in 1994, was once as famous a name
in Nigeria as in Britain, where he was
notably the first black African artist
commissioned to make a sculpture of
Queen Elizabeth II in 1957.
But his name was forgotten and
only rediscovered in recent years.
He was an international artist and
Africas premier modern artist, said
Coventry.
Collectors who bought pieces by
Enwonwu early in his career are now
getting older and those who have inherited works may have no idea of the
value of what they have.
This rediscovery of Ben Enwonwus
works is amazing.
Ten years ago, Enwonwus works
sold for several hundred dollars but are
now fetching hundreds of thousands at
auction.

Nevertheless, said Coventry, his


work is still massively under-valued,
which is quite unique for an artist who
was so accomplished during his own
lifetime.
Femi Lijadu is one of several art
collectors who will make the trip from
Lagos to London for the auction on
May 20 and has already pinpointed
Nigerian works at affordable prices.
He will be in the British capital
because he is proud of the image the
major artists portray of his country.
Lijadu, a corporate lawyer, has some
500 pieces in his collection and remembers the time he began earning a living
in the 1980s and buying pictures by the
Grand Masters of Nigeria.
At the time we dreamt of the day
where the world would finally start
to take notice of Nigerian and African
art in general, he remembered with a
smile.
Judging by the scale of the auction,
that day has arrived.

LONDON

Chef Jamie oliver urges compulsory food lessons worldwide


ABoARd an open-top London
bus circling Britains parliament,
celebrity chef Jamie oliver is
educating children about healthy
eating, and revealing plans to take
his campaign to the home of the
gourmets.
The most dangerous thing for
our communities is when children
dont know what a potato is, or
a tomato, and that exists all over
Europe, he explained on board the
red battle bus.
His audience of schoolchildren,
some dressed as onions and bananas,
lapped up the message and vocally
backed the chefs petition calling

on all G20 countries to make food


education compulsory, chanting,
Sign it, share it!
The petition, signed by over 1.2
million people from around the
world, is part of Food Revolution
day, set up by oliver four years ago
to tackle the growing problem of dietrelated diseases.
Its a global day of action, he said.
Its about the broken food system,
about farming and about junk food,
about how we are killing our children.
Im just a messenger.
The 39-year-old has enlisted
the help of celebrity pals including
sprinter Usain Bolt and singers

Paul McCartney and Ed Sheeran in


pushing to put compulsory food
education on the school curriculum.
He has already successfully
lobbied to improve the standard of
Britains school meals and now has
his sights set on France, despite its
rich culinary history.
France is an example for the rest
of the world but there are also some
angry patterns and statistics that
are not good, France should also be
worried, warned oliver, star of the
TV series Naked Chef.
Its not law that every child is
taught about food, where it comes
from and how it affects their body,

and that is completely irresponsible.


France has thousands of years
of expertise in food, but the power
of junk food and big fooding is big
enough to fight that culture, he
added.
oliver slammed cereal
manufacturers, saying they had
brainwashed us that they are great
and we know its all rubbish.
The bad people in the food
industry will even brainwash French
people, the chef said.
oliver advocated teaching children
how to put seed in the ground, grow
something, pick it, cook it and eat it
in a group.

Thats my wish today: that France


gets behind a funny little English boy
on a red double-decker bus with a lot
of English kids, oliver said.
Britain, he added, was in a lot of
trouble, but could learn from Frances
introduction of a tax on sugary
drinks.
I would like to come to France
and talk to your ministers about that
sugar tax, why they did it and where
the money goes, he said.
More than 42 million children
worldwide under the age of five
are overweight or obese, according
to World Health Authority (WHo)
statistics. AFP

British chef and television presenter Jamie Oliver takes part in an open-top bus tour of London to promote Food
Revolution Day on May 15. Photo: AFP/Leon Neal

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 19, 2015

NEW YORK

Jay Z posted bail for protesters, writer says

Jay Z (right) and Beyonc attend the China: Through The Looking Glass Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4 in New York City. Photo: AFP/Mike Coppola/Getty Images

ap mogul Jay Z has quietly


used his wealth to post
bail for people arrested in
protests across the United
States against police
excesses, an author close to him said
May 17.
Dream Hampton, a writer and
activist who worked with Jay Z on
his 2010 memoir Decoded, made the
revelations in a series of messages on
Twitter that she later deleted but were
reproduced by the hip-hop magazine
Complex.
When we needed money for bail
for Baltimore protesters, I...hit Jay up,
as I had for Ferguson [and he] wired
tens of thousands of dollars within
minutes, read one tweet.
She also tweeted that Jay Z and
his pop superstar wife Beyonc
wrote a huge check to support the
burgeoning Black Lives Matter
movement aimed at improving
police treatment of african
americans.
protests spread last year after
a white police officer shot dead
unarmed african-american teenager
Michael Brown in the St Louis suburb
of Ferguson.
Major demonstrations, some
turning violent, erupted in recent
weeks in Baltimore after another
african-american man, Freddie Gray,
died from a spinal injury sustained in
police custody.
Hampton later wrote that she
deleted the tweets because Jay Z
would be pi-issed to see I was
offering evidence that he is taking
action.
The tweets appeared aimed at
defending Jay Z and Beyonc, who
have faced accusations from some
activists that they have only paid lip
service to causes without tapping into
the couples estimated US$1 billion
net worth.
One prominent critic has been
Harry Belafonte, the calypso music
giant who supported Martin Luther
Kings family financially during the
Civil Rights Movement.
In a 2012 interview with The
Hollywood Reporter, Belafonte

said that contemporary celebrities


have turned their back on social
responsibility and singled out Jay Z
and Beyonc.
Jay Z, who grew up poor in New
York City, has made no secret of his
concern about police actions.
In December he met New York
Governor andrew Cuomo to press
for criminal justice reform and was
earlier reported to have set up a fund
for the education of the children of
Sean Bell, an african american shot
dead by police on his wedding day in
2006.
In 2003, Jay Z set up the Shawn
Carter Foundation using his real
name which according to its
website has provided $2.9 million in
scholarships and other initiatives to
support higher education for people
facing hardship.
But Jay Z and Beyonc among
americas most recognisable faces
have mostly avoided public events.
Jay Z discussed his thinking in his
song Nickels and Dimes, in which
he raps of giving money to an addict
and reflects, Did I do it for him
or do it for myself ? / Cant lie to
myself.
The greatest form of giving
is anonymous to anonymous, he
concludes in the song.
Jay Z and Beyonc met Brown
and Grays families last week at a
peace concert in Baltimore by prince
but left without making public
appearances.
One exception to the low profile is
politics. The power couple have been
strong supporters of president Barack
Obama, throwing a party during his
2012 re-election campaign that raised
an estimated $4 million.
Jay Z has been most in the news
lately for spending $56 million to buy
the music streaming service Tidal,
which he has relaunched with fellow
stars.
He performed a concert in New
York on Saturday in an exclusive
for Tidal. In a freestyle segment, he
belittled rivals Spotify and apple
and paid homage to Brown and Gray.
AFP

TOKYO

Zombies invade Tokyo park


for lurch of the living dead
THe living dead stalked Tokyo May
16 as some 100 zombie fans lurched
around a city park for an annual
gathering in grisly makeup.
assorted representatives of the
undead staggered their mindless
way through Yoyogi park covered in
gore and fake blood, some making
it a family outing with their zombie
infants in tow and enjoying the
startled reactions of passersby.
I love zombies, said Daisuke
Tanaka, 33, while adding blood and

mock cuts to his neck.


Its fun to see people stunned and
scared by my zombie appearance,
Takaka said, next to his friend
with guts hanging out from his
unbuttoned shirt.
While most dressed as modern
flesheaters and reanimated corpses,
others appeared as the classic
Chinese jiangshi hopping zombievampire, or as Frankensteins
monster, the great-granddaddy of
the undead.

Participants take part in a zombie walk at a park in Tokyo on May 16. Photos: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com

Ancient art history


not carved in stone
Zon Pann Pwint
zonpann08@gmail.com
ARTIST Kyaw Soe Thu first became
interested in the clay and wooden
carvings on the walls of ancient
temples in Bagan when he visited a
few years ago.
The carvings have aged, but
they are aesthetically pleasing. I am
much attracted by the floral motifs
and mythical creatures carved on
the walls of temples. I started to
hunt for the old carvings and drew
a series of them, he said.
As he is known as a painter
of floral patterns and mythical
creatures on the walls of temples
and pagodas, his mentor
photographed the teak carvings
on the walls, pillars and roofs
of Shwenandaw Monastery, also
known as Shwe Kyaung (Golden
Palace) in Mandalay and gave them
to him. He drew a series of them.
Three of his paintings, depicting
fine carvings on the facade of the
monastery, which was built in teak,
are being shown at a group art
exhibition presented by 14 artists,
entitled Same But Different at
Lawkanat art gallery on Pansodan
Road (upper block) through May 23.
I learned that the design
and style of carvings differed
considerably over time. Designs

TODAY
MUSIC

Live music by The Experience Band.


Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro, 20th floor,
Sakura Tower, 339 Bogyoke Aung
San Road, Kyauktada. 7-10pm.

MISC

Tuesday Snippets. Gallery


Conversation and drinks. Pansodan
Gallery, Pansodan Street. 7-10pm.

Shwegonedaing Road, Bahan.


5:30-10pm.
Salsa at Salud. K5000 entry
(includes free Mojito, beer or cocktail
of your choice). Salud Salsa Club
(Latin Restaurant), 7C Wingabar
Road (next to Clover Hotel), Bahan.
8pm.

MUSIC

Jazz music and dinner. Rendez-Vous


restaurant and bar, Institut Francias,
340 Pyay Road. 7:30-9:30pm.

FILM

Tuesday Movies at the Connect


Institute. Free popcorn, chips and
soft drinks. Fun games and quizzes,
thought-provoking discussions
and more. Connect Institute, 3A
Pansodan Business Tower, corner
of Anawrahta Road and Pansodan
Street. 2:30pm-4pm.

Artist Kyaw Soe poses with his work at Lawkanat art gallery. Photo: Thiri Lu

carved in the Bagan period differ


a little from those carved in the
Yadanabon period. Each period
reflects changes in style and the
design of the carvings. I find it
interesting to learn, and I love to
draw different designs of carvings of
those periods, the artist said.
Kyaw Soe also paints dilapidated

walls, clay and votive tablets in


ancient temples in Bagan.
I thought the artists made
the effort to develop the designs
they had learned from the senior
artists. Thats why we saw changes
in design. Today, people repeat the
old designs, but back then they
developed them, he said.

TOMORROW
NIGHTLIFE

Girls night out. Mojo Bar, 135 Inya


Road, Bahan 8pm
Mojito Night. The Lab, 70A

Catch Bamboo Trio at Institut


Francais this Wednesday night.
Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

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

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 19, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


Yangon to MandalaY

MandalaY to Yangon

Yangon to HeHo

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 775

Daily

6:00

7:10

Y5 233

Daily

7:50

9:00

W9 515

6:00

7:25

W9 201

Daily

8:40

10:35

YH 917

Daily

6:10

8:30

YJ 761

8:40

10:35

YJ 891

7:00

8:25

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

8:50

10:45

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

8:35

K7 223

1,3,5

8:55

11:00

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

8:40

YH 918

Daily

9:15

10:25

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

7:40

6T 806

2,4,6

10:30

11:40

YJ 201

1,2,4

7:00

8:55

YJ 202

11:30

12:55

YJ 201

7:00

8:25

YJ 202

1,2,4

12:00

13:25

W9 201

Daily

7:00

8:25

YJ 761

1,2,4

13:10

17:00

W9201

7:00

8:25

YJ 212

15:00

16:55

8M 6603

9:00

10:10

YJ 212

15:00

16:25

YJ 601

11:00

12:25

YJ 602

15:40

17:35

YJ 761

1,2,4

11:00

12:55

7Y 242

1,3,5

16:40

18:45

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

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

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

HeHo to Yangon
Arr
9:15
10:35
9:20
9:30
10:05
9:10
12:45
12:10
12:10
12:10
15:45
15:40
16:40

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

YJ 211

5,7

11:00

12:25

YJ 234

16:50

18:15

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:50

19:00

Y5 325

1,5

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

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

MYeik to Yangon

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

6:45

8:15

6T 706

1,3,5

8:25

9:35

YH 737

3,5

11:00

13:10

YH 728

17:00

18:25

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

11:30

13:40

W9 152/W97152

17:05

18:30

YH 737

11:30

13:40

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

6T 705

1,3,5

7:00

8:10

7Y 532

2,4,6

15:35

17:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

13:20

K7 320

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:35

Y5 325

15:30

17:00

Y5 326

17:15

18:45

SO 201

Daily

8:20

10:40

SO 202

Daily

13:20

15:40

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

W9 211

17:10

19:15

13:00

16:45

YH 738

3,5

17:10

18:35

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

16:25

8M 6604

17:20

18:30

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

16:35

8M 903

1,2,4,5,7

17:20

18:30

Y5 234

Daily

15:20

16:30

YH 738

17:40

19:05

W9 211

15:30

16:55

YH 730

2,4,6

17:45

19:10

W9 252

2,5

18:15

19:40

Yangon to sittwe

sittwe to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

Yangon to naY pYi taw

naY pYi taw to Yangon

7Y 413

1,3,5,7

10:30

12:20

7Y 414

1,3,5,7

12:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

12:55

W9 309

1,3,6

13:10

14:55

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

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

6T 611

Daily

11:45

12:55

6T 612

Daily

13:15

14:20

Arr

Flight

Days

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

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

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

Yangon to nYaung u
Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MYitkYina to Yangon
Flight
6T 806
YJ 202
YJ 202
YH 827
YJ 234
W9 252

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

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

Yangon to tHandwe
Dep

tHandwe to Yangon

Flight

Days

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

Yangon to dawei

nYaung u to Yangon

Yangon to MYitkYina
Flight
6T 805
YH 826
YJ 201
YJ 201
YJ 233
W9 251

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

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

Air Bagan (W9)


Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


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

Asian Wings (YJ)


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

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

YH 727

YJ 151/W9 7151

Domestic Airlines

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

Yangon to MYeik
Flight

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

Dep

Arr

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)


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

Air Mandalay (6T)


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

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

dawei to Yangon

YH = Yangon Airways

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

8:10

YH 634

2,4,6

12:15

13:25

YJ = Asian Wings

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

6T = AirMandalay

SO 201

Daily

8:20

9:40

6T 708

3,5,7

14:15

15:15

6T 707

3,5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

FMI = FMI Air Charter

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

Flight

Yangon to lasHio

lasHio to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

Yangon to putao

Days

putao to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

1,3,5

7:00

10:35

YH 634

10:35

13:55

YH 633

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

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

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

Flights

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

Arr

16:15

Flights

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Dep

Arr

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

15:55
18:45
18:40

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

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)

A tour guide shows visitors around the old World War II barracks that remain on hills
on Corregidor Island in the Philippines. Photo: Yomiuri Shimbun/Mitsuru Tamura

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

Stroll through history:


Corregidor Island
in the Philippines

orregidor island lies


at the mouth of the bay
surrounding the Philippine
capital of Manila. Amid
the dense forest of tropical
trees on the enclave the scene of a
fierce battle between Japan and the
United States during World War ii
are the sites of ruins and discarded
cannons. Today, the rich natural
environment is under government
protection, as the island has been
designated a national park.
Japan went to war against the
United States on december 8, 1941,
and its troops raided the Philippines,
a strategic territory. its military
planes bombed the US air base there,
destroying most of the bombers while
the bulk of Japans forces landed on
Luzon. The move left general douglas
MacArthur, commander of the US
Army Forces in the Far east, faced
with a predicament. He evacuated all
his troops onto the Bataan Peninsula,
west of Manila, and shifted his
headquarters to Corregidor island.
Stationing himself inside a section
of the Malinta tunnel, built by the
Army Corp of engineers and used
as a bomb shelter and armoury,
MacArthur braced for a fight to the
death. But without reinforcements,
food or medical aid, the US forces
were quickly losing ground. in his
memoir Reminiscences, MacArthur
recalled that his mens clothes hung
on them like tattered rags. Their
long bedraggled hair framed gaunt
bloodless faces ... They saw my
battered ... cap. They would grin.
The imperial Japanese Army urged
him to surrender, and US President
Franklin roosevelt ordered him to
leave. But MacArthur refused to
listen, saying he and his men would
fight to the end.
on March 11, 1942, MacArthur
escaped on a torpedo boat. The
two-and-a-half-month battle on the
besieged island was reported in all US
newspapers, and MacArthur became
a hero. His pledge to come back to the
island i shall return also became
famous.
The remaining US troops
surrendered in May. Among them was
the late Walter Kwiecinski. According
to his family, Kwiecinski described
MacArthur as a coward. Though
he did not tell them exactly why,
only 17 people besides MacArthurs
family were able to escape along with
the commander. As the Japanese
continued their ferocious assault,
those who were left behind on the
island must have experienced mixed
feelings.
MacArthur relocated to Australia,
where he awaited an opportunity
to launch a counterattack. on
the supplies and leaflets that
were secretly transported to the
Philippines, he wrote, i shall return.

The message was clear: The US


forces would return to the Philippines
and liberate the people. it served
as the perfect propaganda. The US
military went on the offensive and
MacArthur landed on Leyte island on
october 20, 1944.
determined to recapture
Corregidor island, MacArthur
announced, i have returned. on
March 2, 1945, after capturing
Corregidor island, he took his
subordinates to a square on the
island. There he hoisted the US flag
and made a speech, declaring, We
must never let our enemies haul
down our flag.
MacArthur defeated the Japanese
troops and returned just as hed
promised, explained military
historian Jose Antonio A Custodio.
He was enormously popular among
the Filipinos back then, attaining a
godlike stature.
out of the nearly 6000 Japanese
soldiers who fought against the US
troops there, only about 20 survived.
Some hid in caves and were unaware
that the war had ended. They were
captured after the war, and their
photos are displayed at the Pacific
War Museum.
Tour guide edward Fernandez said
one such former soldier continued to
visit Corregidor until the latter half of
the 2000s to console the souls of the
war dead, saying, i wish i could have
died here with my brothers in arms.
After taking control of the
Philippines again, MacArthur
approached the politicians who
had cooperated with Japan with
an attitude of forgiveness and
asked them to work together with
the United States. The rights of
large landowners were preserved,
and the gap between the rich and
poor remained after the countrys
independence on July 4, 1946.
Some have pointed out that
MacArthur tried to maintain vested
interests dating back to the colonial
era.
Though 70 years have already
passed since the wars end, hes still
famous in the Philippines for the
quote, i shall return, Custodio
added. But nowadays, more
and more people dont know his
achievements, and memories of him
are fading.
After the war, MacArthur was in
charge of the occupation of Japan
as the Supreme Commander for the
Allied Powers. in 1947, he became
Commander in Chief of the US Army
Forces in the Far east, and then
served as the Commander in Chief
of the UN Command following the
outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.
After a conflict with US President
Harry Truman, he was relieved of his
duties in 1951.
Yomiuri Shimbun

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 19, 2015

WORLD

RUgby sEvENs

Fiji win Sevens World


Series as States enjoy
breakthrough success

iji won the Sevens World


Series on May 17 as the
United States enjoyed a
breakthrough success by
taking the London Sevens
title the first time theyd come out
on top in a Sevens Cup final.
The Fijians, long renowned for
their skills in the abbreviated form
of the game, came into the concluding London leg of this seasons
championship with 147 points in the
overall standings, with South Africa
second on 142.
After the teams won through on
opening day at Twickenham to face
each other in the quarter-finals, that
meant a Fijian victory over the Blitzboks would secure the overall title
for the Pacific islanders.
Savenaca Rawaca scored two
tries and captain Osea Kolinisau
also crossed South Africas line as
Fiji posted a 19-7 victory that gave
them their second World Series title
and first since 2006.
Their success also made Fiji the
first country other than New Zealand to win the Sevens World Series
since 2010.
Thank you very much for
supporting the team, Kolinisau told
the World Rugby website. To be
only the second Fijian team to win
the title is a great feeling.
We are really thankful that we
have finished the series. it has been
a tough journey all along.
Sevens will make its Olympic
debut next year and one of the reasons it has been included is that it
is possible for non-traditional rugby
nations to upset the odds in a way
that rarely happens in the 15-a-side
game.
Proof of that came in the London
final where the United States overpowered Australia 45-22.
After seeing off North American
rivals Canada 29-10 in the last eight,

Perry Baker dives for a United States try in the Twickenham final. Photo: AFP

the United States thrashed England


43-12 in the semi-finals, with the
sheer speed of Perry Baker and Carlin isles proving too much for the
hosts defence.
But there were two Englishmen
among a record crowd of 116,219
over the two days who had plenty
to smile about Fiji coach Ben Ryan
and US counterpart Mike Friday,
both previously in charge of the England sevens team.
Having seen Danny Barrett score
two tries against the Wallabies, in a
match where Eagles captain Madison Hughes was also among his
sides try-scorers, an elated Friday
said, it is amazing. Credit to those
boys, the 12 of them have been absolutely fantastic.
For Hughes, just playing at
Twickenham, never mind winning
the tournament, was the realisation
of a childhood dream.
it is an absolutely incredible
feeling, i remember coming to this
tournament as a boy watching from

the stands hoping that i could play


in it some day, he said.
Australia thrashed Fiji 33-7 in the
semi-finals but were then undone
themselves.
The cup final was really disappointing, said Australia sevens
coach Geraint john.
God knows how many tackles
we missed in that game, but you
have to give credit to the USA. They
took it to us physically and we just
couldnt match that or bring the
intensity that we did in the game
against Fiji.
Overall, it was a good tournament but i think we should be winning games like that cup final, added john, whose side finished fifth in
the standings and so missed out on
automatic qualification for the 2016
Olympics.
But the top four of Fiji, South
Africa, New Zealand and England,
on behalf of Great Britain, have all
booked their places in Rio, together
with hosts Brazil. AFP

RUgby UNIoN

Eales backs antihomophobia campaign


FOR john Eales, Australias 1999
World Cup-winning captain, calling
for an end to homophobic abuse in
sport on May 15 was the latest step
in his decade-long involvement in the
issue.
Eales, as well as current internationals james Haskell (England)
and Alex Cuthbert (Wales), signed a
statement calling for an end to
homophobic language, the most
common form of discrimination.
The recently published Out on the
Fields study, which saw nearly 9500
people surveyed, mostly from Australia, Britain, Canada, ireland, New Zealand and the United States, indicated
homophobia remained a problem
across a range of sports.
Verbal slurs such as faggot or
dyke as well as jokes about gay
people were the most common forms
of homophobia reported.
But Eales, who has seen the likes of
former Wales captain Gareth Thomas
and leading referee Nigel Owens openly declare themselves to be gay, said
he first became involved in tackling
issues of homophobia in rugby union
a decade ago.
its probably about 10 years ago
that i first met the guys from the
Sydney Convicts, the original gay
rugby team in Australia, Eales told
AFP in London during a telephone
interview on May 15.
They were trying to bring the
Bingham Cup, the gay rugby World
Cup, to Australia. They werent
successful with their first bid,
werent successful with their second
bid but were successful with their
third bid, explained Eales, with the
Convicts winning last years edition
on home soil.
They were a really proactive
group and what stood out for me
was that they wanted to make this to
have an impact on the wider world
of sport and society it was about
much more than hosting a rugby
tournament.
One of the things they did was
to help inaugurate this study, the
44-year-old former lock added.
Eales said he had been especially
struck by comments in the foreword
to the Out on the Fields reports from
Thomas, the first player to win 100

caps for Wales.


i am one of those who hid my
sexuality for years because this kind
of language created an environment
where it seemed impossible to be
accepted as a gay man, wrote
Thomas.
The good news is i dont believe
most people making these jokes and
using these slurs are being intentionally homophobic.
After i came out of the closet [in
2009], many of my greatest supporters were teammates who, in the past,
had made the most jokes about gay
people, wrote Thomas.
His words had a marked impact
upon Eales. The Wallaby great told
AFP, i was moved by the comments
from Gareth Thomas.
He was playing at the highest
echelon of rugby there is, and he was
clearly under a lot of pressure.
yet as soon as people became
aware of who he was in that respect
[his sexuality], the game embraced
him.
He didnt think the support was
there and it was.
Eales, also a World Cup-winner
in 1991 and nicknamed Nobody in
his playing days because nobody is
perfect added, One of the proudest things about rugby is that it is an
inclusive sport.
its for men and women, tall
people and short, stocky people, fast
people and slow people like myself
i had a lot of quick guys around me
when i played.
its a game for everybody, but
there are moments where everybody
doesnt feel welcome.
in March, New South Wales
Waratahs flanker jacques Potgieter
was fined A$20,000 (US$15,540)
by the Australian Rugby Union for
uttering a homophobic slur during
a match against the Brumbies in
Sydney and subsequently apologised.
Eales, who didnt refer to the
Potgieter case directly, said, if
people are made aware of their
behaviour, they can change their
behaviour.
its ridiculous in some ways that
we are still talking about this in
2015, but i think rugby is leading the
way in changing things. AFP

ICE hoCkEy

Canada humble Russia to win world title

IN PICTUREs

Photo: AFP

Former Republican nominee for the


US presidency Mitt Stormin Mormon
Romney (left) fought former heavyweight
world champion Evander Holyfield in a
charity exhibition fight at the weekend.

OLyMPiC champions Canada won the


ice hockey world championship after
sweeping defending champions Russia 6-1 in the final in Prague on May 17.
With a team full of NHL stars,
Canada won their first gold since 2007
and the first medal at the worlds since
2009.
The 2010 and 2014 Olympic champions have won all 10 games at the
tournament, scoring 66 goals and conceding only 15.
Canada dominated the final game,
pouring 37 shots on Columbus goalie
Sergei Bobrovski in the Russian goal,
while the Russians only managed 12
shots.
Canada pushed from the start but
scored only in the 19th minute as Dallas wing Cody Eakin tipped in a shot
by Buffalo forward Tyler Ennis.
Ennis circled the Russian goal two
minutes into the second period and
took Russian goalie Bobrovski by surprise with a shot between his skate
and the post for a 2-0 lead.
Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby
made it 3-0 on 28 minutes after a pass
by Edmonton wing jordan Eberle
from behind the Russian goal found
him unguarded in front of it.
Philadelphia center Claude Giroux
broke away less than a minute later,

failed to score but fooled Bobrovski


and passed the puck to Dallas young
gun Tyler Seguin, who scored into a
gaping net for his ninth goal overall
which made him the top scorer of the
tournament.
Crosby set up Giroux for a powerplay goal on 49 minutes and Bobrovski
failed to tame a wrist shot by Nathan
MacKinnon a minute later.

Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin


scored a consolation goal for Russia
four minutes later after tipping in a
shot by Sergei Mozyakin.
Earlier in the day, the USA won
bronze after beating the Czech Republic 3-0 with goals by Nick Bonino,
Trevor Lewis and Charlie Coyle while
goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped all
39 Czech shots. AFP

Canada celebrate their victory in the Ice Hockey World Championship. Photo: AFP

Sport 27

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ASIA

BASKETBALL

NBA eyes India as part of global drive

he NBA is forging ahead


with plans for world domination, hoping that India will
be the next Asian power to
be seduced by hoop dreams
after already captivating China.
The landmark appearance of Sim
Bhullar for the Sacramento Kings last
month, the first player of Indian descent to score in the NBA, gave a fresh
jolt to the leagues bid to win over the
cricket-mad nation of 1.3 billion.
The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2011, part of a sophisticated international operation that has spread
to all corners of the globe at a time
when the league itself is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan.
We see significant long-term opportunity, in India, said Sal LaRocca, the
NBAs president of global operations.
A record 14 live NBA games are being screened in India each week this
season, while more than 50 million
viewers tuned in to NBA programming during the 2013-14 season.
The NBA in April announced its
first game in Africa, an August exhibition pitting a Team Africa consisting of first- and second-generation
NBA stars from Africa against Team
World, composed of players from other regions.
In the 2015-16 season, NBA stars
will also venture to Brazil, China
and Mexico for exhibition or regular

The NBA are hoping their efforts will lift the Indian game. Photo: AFP

season play. The 2014-15 itinerary included Turkey, Germany and Britain.
The prospect of an NBA game held
in India is also on the leagues radar.
Were still a ways away from having a game in India, but there is a large
appetite for us to play a game there,
LaRocca said.
The leagues Jr NBA basketball
training program served more than
200,000 children in 13 countries
in 2014, and the NBA now has an

unprecedented number of foreign-born


players (101) competing in games broadcast to almost every country on the
planet.
In India, the Jr NBA program, run
with the Reliance Foundation, has
reached 1 million youth since 2013.
The overseas push has been a boon
to the personal brand of NBA players
and to the leagues corporate sponsors
and partners.
In China, the leagues biggest

BAdminTon

China sweep Japan to take Sudirman Cup


ChINA won their sixth consecutive
Sudirman Cup on May 17, defeating Japan, which had reached the badminton
tournaments finals for the first time.
Thousands welcomed home team
China with horns and drums as they
entered and huddled to chants of go
China, go, with jeers heard when the
Japanese team arrived on the court in
the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.
China swept Japan 3-0 in a series of
tightly contested matches during the
final day of the event, with Chinese superstar Lin Dan jumping in the air and
pumping his fist after winning his mens
single match against Japans Takuma
Ueda 21-15, 21-13.
It [the win] means a lot to me because I was in the mens singles for the
finals and made the contribution for our
teams win, Lin told reporters after receiving his gold medal.
But the 31-year-old Lin also said he
felt a bit nervous coming into the match.
I had the confidence to beat Ueda,
but I couldnt tell why I felt a little nervous and pressure when I played the
game, he said.
We wanted to have the consecutive
win to keep the Sudirman Cup in China, he added.

Lin also said that the Japanese badminton team would be a strong opponent for China in the upcoming Thomas
Cup in 2016.
I never thought that Japans victory
last year in the Thomas Cup was an accident because weve seen a lot of strong
opponents from Japan, Denmark and
Korea, he said.

Next year is also


the Olympics so we
need to have good
performance in the
Thomas and Uber Cup.
Lin dan
Chinese badminton player

Next year is also the Olympics so we


need to have good performance in the
Thomas and Uber Cup.
Chinas Li Xuerui, the top-seeded
womens singles player, exchanged leads
with her opponent Akane Yamaguchi in

the first game, but ultimately handed


Yamaguchi a defeat, winning 23-21,
21-14.
Because its a big contest, I felt pressure. The reason why the score was so
close in the first game was because I
made a few mistakes, Li told reporters
after the game.
Shes improved very quickly, Li said
of the 17-year-old Yamaguchi, whom she
has played three times in total.
Generally speaking, the young
Japanese players pose a challenge to
China.
Yamaguchi told reporters Li handled
the pressure of the match better.
Japans coach Park Joo-bong said
although China remains a very strong
team, his players are also getting better.
Today we lost 3-0 because China is
a strong team. They have always been
a very strong team. In the last two or
three years, our players are getting a bit
closer, Park told reporters.
Chinas Fu haifeng and Zhang Nan
also contributed to the nations 10th win
at the Sudirman Cup, which was first
held in 1989, winning 21-17, 20-22, 21-17
in a tight mens doubles against hiroyuki endo and Kenichi hayakawa.
AFP

AThLETicS

Tearful send-off for Chinese hurdler Liu


ChINAS greatest track and field
athlete Liu Xiang said goodbye to
his adoring fans in his hometown of
Shanghai May 17 in a tearful ceremony
after the Diamond League meeting.
I have been moved by your concern for me, your understanding and
your encouragement, said Liu, the
110m hurdles champion at the 2004
Olympics, a month after he announced
his retirement.
I am grateful and very honoured,
added the 31-year-old, his eyes glazing as he struggled to contain his
emotions.
Many fans at Shanghai Stadium
stood motionless with their hands
over their mouths, while others wiped

tears as Liu spoke from trackside.


Lius retirement last month
sparked an outpouring of emotion
for an athlete who was loved for his
achievements and also won wide sympathy for his heartbreaking setbacks.
After claiming Chinas first mens
track and field gold at Athens, Liu was
hotly tipped to claim victory at the
2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, but
limped out of the first heat, stunning
home fans at the Birds Nest stadium.
Despite appearing to hit form leading up to London 2012, Liu clattered
into the first hurdle in his opening
heat and after being helped up, he
hopped the length of the track before
symbolically kissing the last barrier

and exiting the arena. he has not run


competitively since.
I am very happy that today I have
an opportunity to say goodbye, Liu
said, before giving his backing to a
new generation of Chinese athletes.
I am convinced that from today
we will have even more athletes, who
are even more outstanding, he said.
China is an emerging power in athletics, with promising 110 hurdler Xie
Wenjun and long jump hope Li Jinzhe
among those tipped for success.
While neither managed a win in
Shanghai on the weekend, womens
shot-putter Gong Lijiao and javelinthrower Lu huihui both claimed
victory. AFP

overseas market, more than a dozen


players have at least 2 million followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of
Twitter.
The Spanish bank BBVA, the official bank of the league and the title
sponsor of NBA games in Spain and
Turkey, sees strong consumer interest
not only at home, but in key international growth markets, like Mexico,
Argentina and Colombia, where fans
are embracing basketball along with
football.
Passion for basketball is especially
strong in a demographic were very interested in, which is younger, more urban consumers that will be more and
more the customers of the future, said
Carlos Ricardo, BBVAs head of global
marketing.
The
Anschutz
entertainment
Group has opened state-of-the-art stadiums over the last decade that have
hosted NBA games in London and
Berlin, and runs arenas in Beijing and
Istanbul also used for games.
Sports business consultant David
Carter said the NBA had been smart
in choosing its targets for overseas
growth.
Basketball was popular in China
long before the first game involving
NBA stars in 1979.
Other overseas markets, including
Germany, Spain and Brazil, have national professional basketball leagues,

some stretching back decades.


Theyve taken a distinct advantage
and made sure that theyve exploited it
to the fullest, Carter said.
Still, he added, the NBA has a long
way to go before basketball overtakes
football, the sport with the most popular global team event, the World Cup.
The NBAs LaRocca said the World
Cup is an unbelievable global event,
but dismissed the idea that an equivalent success in basketball was essential to fulfilling the NBAs goals.
The NBAs growth rests on building
the sport in new markets on the grassroots level, he said. Just last week,
Bhullar won a heros welcome as he
led junior NBA programs in two cities
in northern India.
If the game is played on a global
basis, the talent pool for players at the
most elite level will continue to grow
and that will continue to stimulate interest in the game, LaRocca said.
The 7-foot-5-inch Bhullar has been
likened to former NBA superstar Yao
Ming, who helped fuel the basketball
boom in China. But LaRocca said foreign players do not need Yaos prowess
on the court to make a difference off
of it.
Weve seen players come into the
league from various parts of the world
that may not have been perennial allstars but still make an impact on their
home markets, he said. AFP

cricKET

Pakistan appoint
attack survivor after
ICC withhold umpires

Police gather in a dress rehersal for the Zimbabwe tour. Photo: AFP

PAKISTAN appointed a local umpire


who survived a 2009 terrorist attack
on the Sri Lankan team for their home
series against Zimbabwe after crickets
governing body refused to send officials.
Ahsan Raza, now 40, will officiate
during the series featuring two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals against Zimbabwe, who are set to
become the first Test-playing nation to
tour Pakistan for six years.
Major cricketing nations suspended
tours to Pakistan following the March
2009 assault on the Sri Lankan team
bus in Lahore, which killed eight people
and injured seven visiting players.
Raza suffered multiple bullet wounds
and fought for his life for over a month.
Pakistan said Aleem Dar, Shozab Raza, Ahmed Shahab and Khalid
Mahmood would also officiate along
with Zimbabwean umpire Russell Tiffin.
Pakistan appointed the officials after
the International Cricket Council said
earlier May 17 it would not send its elite
Panel neutral umpires.
The ICCs decision has been made
after receiving a report from its security consultant, the council said in a
statement.
The world body said it decided in

April that the mandatory requirement


of neutral umpires for international
matches would be waived due to security conditions in Pakistan should the
series with Zimbabwe go ahead.
It gave assurances that the matches would still be considered official
fixtures.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has said
it received confirmation from Zimbabwe
Cricket that the tour would go ahead.
The tourists, expected to arrive early
May 19, will play two Twenty20s (on
May 22 and 24) and three one-day internationals (on May 26, 29 and 31) all
in Lahore.
Zimbabwe had suspended the tour
on May 14 following an attack in Karachi which left 45 people dead, before reversing the decision 24 hours later.
No major foreign team has toured
Pakistan for the last six years, forcing
the national team to play all their home
matches at neutral venues in the United
Arab emirates.
Ticket sales for the series started on
May 16, with police conducting a dress
rehearsal of security arrangements.
Pakistan has promised Zimbabwe
security similar to that offered a head of
state, with 6000 officers involved. AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 19, 2015

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

Tall ambitions for


NBA in India
SPORT 27

wReSTliNg

Myanmar will welcome Asian


Juniors wrestling for success
Kyaw ZiN HlaiNg
kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

ay Pyi Taw and the Wunna Theikdi Indoor


Stadium will continue to position themselves as a venue for continental level sporting events when they hold the asian Junior
Wrestling Championship from July 9 to 12.
Last year the Wunna Theikdi complex shared hosting duties of footballs U20 asian Championship with
yangon and is currently organising the U23 equivalent
tournament for volleyball.
This is the first time nations will visit Myanmar
for a continental level wrestling competition and we
expect to welcome athletes from up to 33 nations, Moe
Sandi aung, an official from the Myanmar Wrestling
Federation, told The Myanmar Times.
The federation was reformed in 2013, in advance
of that years Southeast asian Games where Myanmar
took three gold medals behind the 10 of regional wrestling powerhouse Vietnam.
Now 20 Myanmar grapplers regularly train
under two Turkish coaches.
We expect five of these athletes to compete in this
competition and they will be joined by talented youngsters studying under the Ministry of Sport, added Moe
Sandi aung.
Head coach Ilhan Senlik told a press conference,
We have two-and-a-half months to train for medals.
Much of our work will be focused on technique but endurance and fitness work will also be key.
With 200 wrestlers from across asia expected to attend, the federation hopes to use the event to capture
the publics imagination for the sport.
Over the last year our athletes have been developing international experience. Last year we travelled
to the asian Games and in april we took a silver and
two bronze medals from the aSEaN Cadet and Junior
Wrestling Championships. In these Games we hope to
make it gold, said Moe Sandi aung.
Should any of Myanmars grapplers step up a level and secure a gold medal on home soil, Moe Sandi
aung says they will also be rewarded with a US$10,000
bounty.

A Myanmar wrestler (left) grapples with his Cambodian opponent at the ASEAN Junior and Cadet Wrestling Championship in April. Photo:Facebook/MWF

ameRicaN FOOTball

Brady appeal calls witnesses


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a
potential witness in New England Patriots quarterback Tom Bradys appeal
of a four-game ban, and shouldnt preside over the appeal, the NFL Players
association said May 15.
The union filed an appeal on
Bradys behalf on May 14, when their
demand for an independent arbitrator
was quickly answered by the league
with confirmation that Goodell himself would hear the case.
If Goodell doesnt reconsider, the
NFLPa and Mr Brady will seek recusal
and pursue all available relief to obtain an arbitrator who is not evidently
partial, the union wrote in a letter to
the league that it made public on May
15.
Brady, a four-time Super Bowl
champion, was suspended for the first
four games of the upcoming season after third-party investigator Ted Wells
found the superstar quarterback was
likely at least generally aware that
team equipment personnel deliberately deflated footballs below league
minimums before the aFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis
Colts in January.

Deflategate dogged the Patriots


in the build-up to the Super Bowl in
February, with Brady insisting he
didnt know why the air pressure in
the footballs was low.
NFL vice president Troy Vincent
handed down Bradys suspension in
the wake of the Wells report, but the
union is challenging Goodells right to
delegate such discipline.
according to the union, the collective bargaining agreement grants
the commissioner and only the
commissioner the power to discipline players for conduct detrimental to the game.
The union further plans to argue
that the severity of the suspension is
inconsistent compared to sanctions
for other offenses, and that the Wells
Report on which the ban is based
is a legally inadequate basis upon
which to impose this unprecedented
discipline.
The NFLPa wants the league to
follow the precedent it set in appointing former federal judge Barbara
Jones to hear Ray Rices appeal of the
indefinite suspension he received after
punching his future wife.

Jones found that Goodells decision


to increase Rices punishment after a
second, more graphic video of the incident surfaced was arbitrary and the
suspension was overturned, although
that didnt get Rice his job back with
the Baltimore Ravens.
In addition to suspending Brady,
the league fined the Patriots US$1
million, and docked them a 2016 firstround draft selection and a fourthround pick in 2017.
But the team fired back on May 14,
setting a tone for Bradys appeal when
it posted a point-by-point rebuttal of
the Wells report online at Wellsreportcontext.com.
The Patriots argued that Wells conclusions were incomplete, incorrect
and lack context.
In comments written by attorney
Daniel L Goldberg, who represented
the Patriots and was present during
interviews of team personnel, the
team claimed investigators ignored
some findings and misinterpreted
others.
Our intention is to provide additional context for balance and consideration, Goldberg wrote. AFP

FOOTball

Malaysia cup semi-final


erupts into violence
POLICE fired 30 rounds of tear gas to
disperse rioting fans and arrested 25
after a Malaysia Fa Cup semi-final between Terengganu and Singapores Lions XII, a senior security official said
May 18.
Terengganu fans allegedly torched
an ambulance and broke stadium
doors after their team failed to reach
the cup final, despite winning the
semi-final second leg 3-2 at home in
Kuala Terengganu.
The tie finished 4-4 on aggregate
and Lions XII went through on away
goals. The trouble began when a
Terengganu goal was ruled out late in
the match that would have taken them
through to the final.
The rioting was carried out by a
small group of Terengganu fans who
were not happy with the quality of the
referee, local police chief Idris abdul
Rafar told aFP.
We fired 30 rounds of tear gas
because the protesters were stubborn
and refused the disperse after the
game.
The rioting began toward the final

minutes of the games after the fourth


goal by Terengganu was disallowed,
he said, adding that fans pelted the
referee and police with water bottles
and stones.
Hamidin Mohamad amin, vice
president of the Football association
of Malaysia, said that the violence
would be discussed at a meeting later
on May 18. Definitely we are upset,
he told aFP.
Last December former FaM vice
president Subahan Kamal said football hooliganism was becoming a
worrying trend in the country after home fans attacked Vietnamese
supporters during a Suzuki Cup
semi-final.
The asian Football Confederation
fined the FaM US$10,000 in December for the behaviour of Malaysian
fans during a friendly against the
Philippines.
In September, a Malaysia Cup
match between rivals Sarawak and
Perak erupted into a riot when 2000
Sarawak fans smashed cars and fought
police after the game. AFP