Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar’
Yangon, Sep 16 (IANS) Myanmar’s opposition leader and parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi Sunday left Yangon for Washington on her first visit to the US in 24 years.
Suu Kyi, on a 20-day trip, was invited by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Xinhua reported. She earlier visited Thailand in May and Europe in June.
During her visit, Suu Kyi will receive the US Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honour, as well as the Global Citizen Award presented by the Atlantic Council based in New York, according to her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
She will also meet US-based Myanmar citizens.
In May, Suu Kyi paid her first visit to Thailand in 24 years and attended the World Economic Forum. In June, she paid a 17-day historic visit to five European countries — Switzerland, Norway, Britain, Ireland and France.
The Myanmarese leader collected in Oslo her Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded in 1991.
In Dublin, she picked the “Ambassador of Conscience” prize awarded by Amnesty International. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Oxford University and an honorary citizenship from Paris.
The NLD party overwhelmingly won the April 1 bye-elections, taking 43 out of 45 open parliament seats, of which 37 were from the lower house.
Suu Kyi herself won a seat from Yangon’s Kawhmu constituency.
In August, she was named chairperson of a 15-member Committee for Rule of Law and Tranquillity of the Lower House.
Yangon, Sep 13 (IANS) Soft drink giant Coca-Cola has re-entered the Myanmar market after a gap of more than 60 years, following the lifting of US economic sanctions on the country, Xinhua reported Thursday.
The world’s largest soft drink maker plans to set up a factory in collaboration with local counterpart Pinya Manufacturing, and start local production as soon as possible, according to the Myanmar Post Global.
Previously, Coca-Cola products were indirectly imported to Myanmar through neighbouring countries.
The company will invest $100 million over the next three years, and the move will create jobs for nearly 2,000 Myanmarese, US Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) David L. Carden was quoted as saying.
Coca-Cola’s rival PepsiCo announced plans last month to also sell its products in Myanmar.
According to official statistics, US investment in Myanmar totalled $243.49 million in 15 projects as of March 2012.
Bilateral trade between Myanmar and the US reached $293.64 million in the 2011-12 fiscal year. Myanmar’s export to US amounted to $29.57 million while import from US stood at $264.07 million.
Yangon, Sep 11 (IANS) Myanmar government has plans to privatise the telecom industry in the country.
Myanmar’s State Posts and Telecommunication (MPT) has worked out a plan to privatise its telecommunications industry for four private operators, reported Xinhua Monday citing local media.
According to the Myanmar Times, under a step-by-step privatisation process, the MPT will be abolished and reformed as Myanmar Telecom, which will operate without funding from the government. Yatanarpon Teleport will be merged into a new company named Yatanarpon Telecom.
Two other private operators, which could be foreign firms, would join in to offer mobile connections, landline telephones, a public switchboard telephone network, information technology and internet services, the report said.
A telecom corporation will be set up by the end of the year and then the MPT will call for international tenders and the winning operators should be ready for running by 2013.
Targeting to upgrade user density from 75 percent to 80 percent by 2016, a process will start in 2013 to raise the number of users to 39.5 million by 2016, the report said.
According to the MPT statistics, only three million people in Myanmar have their own landline or mobile, a density of 5.6 percent.
Also, a law to govern the privatisation of telecommunications is expected to be enacted by year-end.
–Indo-Asia News Service
Yangon, Sep 10 (IANS) The Myanmar government has approved opening of 20 private schools following the enactment of the Private School Law since last year-end, Xinhua reported.
According to The Flower News Journal, the 20 private schools were among the 67 which had sought permission from the Ministry of Education for opening.
Most of the private schools are from the Yangon region, it added. Other six private schools were allowed for pilot run for one year.
According to official statistics, the number of state-operated basic education schools in the country has increased to 41,000 where a total of over 8.1 million students are pursuing education under the guidance of over 270,000 teachers.
In the latest step, the ministry has ensured that similar subjects shall be taught according to the curriculum prescribed in state schools, while allowing other additional subjects to be also taught so as to eliminate private tuitions.
To mobilise the teachers in the country to serve the education sector, a private teachers’ union has been formed to seek knowledge and experience from foreign experts to help raise private teachers’ qualification to international standard.
Yangon, Sep 8 (IANS) Myanmar President U Thein Sein has called for all-out efforts to bring stability to the state and promote its socio-economic development, Xinhua reported Saturday, citing official media.
U Thein Sein made the call at the meeting with national races affairs ministers from regions and states in Nay Pyi Taw, said the New Light of Myanmar, and urged them to cooperate with the government.
“Over 100 national races reside in the country and all are national brethren living within the boundary of the nation,” he noted, adding that they will have the fundamental rights of the citizens vested by the constitution and also need to perform the equal duties together.
U Thein Sein stressed that border regions still lagged behind in development and such works as education, health, transportation, and economy could not be undertaken effectively due to conflicts with various races’ armed groups.
According to the president, most of the places have begun to see tranquillity without gunfire and certain success has been achieved in making peace with the remaining groups.
If peace agreement could be reached with Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)/Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the peace-making process could be said nearly successful, he said.
He reiterated that the process at region/state level would be smoother with the participation of all local national races including national races affairs ministers, and said these ministers can attend the meetings of region/state government concerned if they have things to discuss.
U Thein Sein also emphasised on eliminating poppy cultivation in cooperation with the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control and substitution of the poppy business with other income-generating occupations.
Yangon, Sep 6 (IANS) Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch daily flight services to Yangon from Oct 28 in a bid to fulfill the growing passenger demand in Myanmar, tourism authorities said Thursday.
Using 323-seat Boeing 700-200 aircraft, SIA will operate the daily flights, reported Xinhua.
SIA is the latest among international carriers that stretches wings to Yangon.
Meanwhile, seven airlines – Korean Air, Dragon Air, EVA Air, All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways, Condor Airlines and Trans Asia Airways – are prepared to commence flights to Yangon in October.
In addition to the 64-year-old state-operated domestic Myanma Airways (MA), there are also five other private-run domestic airlines in Myanmar, namely Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air Bagan, Asian Wings and Air Kanbawza.
Yangon, Sep 3 (IANS) Myanmar military authorities released 42 more child soldiers from the armed forces Monday, a move to further end recruitment of under-age children in the armed forces, reported Xinhua, citing local media.
The 42 children, who are from across the country’s regions and states, were handed over to their parents in the presence of officials of the ministry of social welfare.
The move came after an agreement was signed between Myanmar government and the United Nations in late June on prevention of further recruitment and use of under-age children in the armed forces.
Action was taken against 201 officers for recruiting soldiers not in line with army’s rules and regulations, sources said.
The Myanmar defence ministry said from 2004 to July 2012, 600 child soldiers had been released from the army and reintegrated with their families.
Meanwhile, Myanmar and the UN started engagement in a dialogue on issues related to child soldiers five years ago. The two agreed to the appointment of a high level focal team from the social welfare ministry to engage with the UN Country Team and especially UNICEF (UN Children’s Fund) on all issues related to children and armed conflict.
They also agreed as well as the setting up of a monitoring mechanism to find out the real situation in the country regarding child soldiers with a task force established.
Myanmar has made efforts and worked for ensuring not to recruit minors for military service, promising continuous supervision over the personnel concerned to ensure that they do not accept minors, and working according to the law, rules and regulations and directives.
Myanmar held that there are very few cases of recruiting minors for military service in the armed forces, saying that all new members must reach the age of 18, denying some foreign media allegations that the Myanmar armed forces has child soldiers and using them in forward areas.
The country formed the Committee for Prevention against Recruiting Minors into Army in January 2005.
Yangon, Aug 31 (IANS) Myanmar government forces and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) rebels have exchanged fire in Pha-Kant jade mining area in the country’s northernmost Kachin state over the past three days, the information ministry said Friday.
However, the ministry disclosed no details about the casualties, reported Xinhua.
Retreating from a battle on Tuesday and Wednesday which took place 5 km west of Pha-kant, the KIA set fire to the machinery used by private jade mining companies and to some buildings owned by the companies along the route of retreat, sources said.
The government troops are in pursuit of the KIA rebels, the sources added.
According to the ministry, the government forces started operation against the KIA Monday after the KIA threatened the security of local miners in villages by extorting money and burning mining machinery.
So far 10 out of 11 ethnic armed groups have signed peace agreements with the government at state or central level. KIA has not arrived at a settlement with the government.
Although three rounds of peace talks have been held in China’s border town of Ruili between Myanmar’s central government and the KIA since November 2011, no tangible outcome was achieved.
The clashes in Kachin state have forced more than 60,000 local people to flee.
Yangon, Aug 30 (IANS) The Myanmar government Thursday published detailed list of 2,082 of the 6,165 people who have been removed from the black-lists in line with the government’s current reform policy, said a media report.
Of the 2,082 people, 935 are Myanmar dissidents residing at home and abroad, while 1,147 are foreigners from various countries and regions, both the East and the West, according to the website of the president’s office, Xinhua reported.
The Myanmar dissidents include those from organisations in exile and media persons who opposed the previous military government.
The lifting of the black-lists of Myanmar nationals, some of whom hold foreign citizenship, will encourage and enable them to return in light of its political and economic reform process, the official media said.
Since taking office March 30, 2011, President U Thein Sein’s new government has on a number of occasions urged Myanmar experts residing abroad to return home to join hands with the government to do their bit for economic prosperity and national development.
Yangon (Myanmar), Aug 28 (IANS) Nearly 30 Myanmar basketball players underwent training from former National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) professionals at the Myanmar Basketball Federation (MBF) stadium here Tuesday.
The US basketball envoys, including Charlotte Bobcats general manager Richard Cho, a Myanmar native who migrated to the United States, were on a six-day tour to Myanmar starting Sunday.
The others are former WNBA player Allison Feaster, current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach and former NBA players Darvin Ham and Marty Conlon.
There will be another training session with 50 young male and female players Wednesday.
They will also give workshops at local schools and sports facilities and reciprocally, they will learn about the traditional Myanmar sport – Chinlone.
In partnership with SportsUnited, nearly 50 NBA and WNBA players and coaches have visited over 20 different countries since 2004, where they have conducted basketball clinics for thousands of boys, girls, and coaches.
Yangon, Aug 27 (IANS) Myanmar undertook a major cabinet reshuffle Monday, reassigning nine ministers to new posts, the country’s information ministry said.
Minister of Industry U Soe Thein, Minister of Rail Transportation U Aung Min, Minister of Finance and Revenue U Hla Tun and Minister of National Planning and Economic Development U Tin Naing Thein were all reassigned as ministers in the President’ s Office, Xinhua reported.
Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Aung Kyi was named information minister, replacing U Kyaw Hsan who was reassigned as minister of cooperatives.
Yangon, Aug 23 (IANS) The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is drafting a 40-year Yangon City upgrading plan aimed at helping imoprove Myamnar’s backward former capital city, media reports said Thursday.
The 40-year draft plan, expected to be completed by 2013, includes upgrading the city’s drainage system, urban transportation, drinking water system, Thilawa Special Economic Zone and port terminals, the Myanmar Post Global quoted Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) as saying, reported Xinhua.
According to the plan, only 60 percent of Yangon’s over six- million population can get enough water supply and more water sources are being needed.
Meanwhile, overpasses are being planned in some traffic junctions in a bid to ease traffic jams.
These traffic junctions include Hledan, Shwegondaing, Tarmwe and Bayintnaung where traffic congestion occurs almost all the day. Construction of overpasses at Hledan and Bayintnaung has already begun.
The plan also covers upgrading port terminals at Yangon Port in line with international standards in collaboration with private entrepreneurs under joint-venture basis or build-operate-transfer (BOT) system.
With a population of over six million and an area of 795 sq km, Yangon city is demarcated as 45 townships, of which 33 represent the municipal area.