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Myanmar: The Weekly Roundup for September 11th-18th 20 Sep 2015 Current Affairs | 0 comments

The World Bank to help fund Myanmar's National Electrification Plan

The Week in Summary (Highlights)

  • November Elections
  • World Bank to loan $400 million USD for National Electrification Plan
  • Illegal timber trade from Myanmar to China growing

 

National Affairs

  • As election nears, Myanmar's reserved leader trumpets achievements
    Channel NewsAsia 18th Sep 2015
    For a leader non-committal about his future and sitting out Myanmar's upcoming election, there is more than a whiff of a presidential campaign in Thein Sein's uncharacteristic moves to flaunt his achievements.
  • Myanmar to appoint 40,000 'special election police': Official
    Straits Times 18th Sep 2015
    Myanmar authorities will appoint 40,000 ordinary citizens as "special election police" ahead of November's polls to boost security at polling stations, an official said Friday (Sept 18), amid concerns over the exact role they will play.
  • Red Cross volunteers in Myanmar bring hope and aid to evacuees in flood-stricken villages
    International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 18th Sep 2015
    It is nearly two months since heavy seasonal rains and Cyclone Komen triggered severe floods in Myanmar. The floods have claimed 117 lives and affected over 1.6 million people in 12 of the country’s 14 states and regions. As the transition from emergency relief to longer term recovery continues, the Myanmar Red Cross Society and its network of volunteers is playing an important role in helping many families to move on with their lives.
  • Burmese Govt Hits Back at Embassies Over Election Concerns
    The Irrawaddy 18th Sep 2015
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is concerned that a statement issued by nine governments could cause “unwarranted, negative impacts.”
  • Burma has ‘failed demonstrably’ to combat drug crime, says Obama
    Asian Correspondent 18th Sep 2015
    U.S. President Barack Obama has slammed Burma (Myanmar) for failing to combat illicit drug production in its northern border states, as Washington names and shames its weaker allies in the global war on drugs.
  • Rebels Warn Political Parties to Halt Election Campaigns Amid Clashes in Myanmar’s Shan State
    Radio Free Asia 17th Sep 2015
    Armed ethnic rebels in eastern Myanmar’s Shan state have warned political parties to suspend campaigning for national elections slated for November amid ongoing clashes with the country’s military in the region, citing safety concerns.
  • Interview: 'The Political Weather is not Good' in Myanmar Now
    Radio Free Asia 17th Sep 2015
    In an interview with reporter Myo Zaw Ko of RFA’s Myanmar Service, Ashin Wirathu of the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion (Ma Ba Tha) lays out his Buddhist nationalist group's views on the Nov. 8 general elections, national security and communal relations in a country torn by strife between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims.
  • Myanmar Accused of Stripping Minority Candidates' Rights
    Voice of America 17th Sep 2015
    The United States said Thursday that it was concerned about Myanmar's disqualification of dozens of candidates who tried to register for the country's upcoming general election.
  • Suu Kyi courts ethnic vote
    Nikkei Asian Review 17th Sep 2015
    Just before the official campaign period for Myanmar's Nov. 8 election, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi paid a visit to this township in rural Shan State, where she delivered a speech from the back of a truck beneath a huge red banner and a portrait of her father, the late independence hero General Aung San.
  • Burma's forests under threat from illegal logging fuelled by China's demand for precious wood
    The Independent 17th Sep 2015
    Trade worth hundreds of millions of pounds is one of the single largest overland flows of illegal timber in the world
  • Israel Tightening Security Ties With Myanmar, Despite Western Sanctions
    Haaretz 17th Sep 2015
    Senior General Min Aung Hlaing's unannounced visit was the first time in 55 years that a military leader from the country formally known as Burma visited Israel.
  • Myanmar keeps ‘cordial’ relations with North Korea
    The Myanmar Times 17th Sep 2015
    A foreign ministry delegation is visiting North Korea this week to further diplomatic relations, although a senior official noted that arms deals were excluded under UN sanctions.
  • Israel Tightening Security Ties With Myanmar, Despite Western Sanctions
    Haaretz 17th Sep 2015
    Senior General Min Aung Hlaing's unannounced visit was the first time in 55 years that a military leader from the country formally known as Burma visited Israel.
  • Myanmar Releases Voter Lists for Upcoming Elections
    Voice of America 14th Sep 2015
    The election commission in Myanmar, also known as Burma, has announced its second round of voter lists for the upcoming general elections, the first since decades of military rule ended in 2011.
  • Myanmar Government Sets Date For Start of Political Dialogue
    Radio Free Asia 14th Sep 2015
    The Myanmar government will sign a nationwide cease-fire accord with armed ethnic groups during the first week of October, paving the way for political dialogue among the participants to start in January, the government’s chief peace negotiator said Monday.

Regional Affairs

  • Illegal timber trade from Myanmar grows
    The Herald Sun 18th Sep 2015
    The illicit timber trade between Myanmar and China is rebounding to near its peak of a decade ago as loggers push deeper into Myanmar to strip its forests, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group.
  • China's drug habit fuels return of the Golden Triangle
    BBC 17th Sep 2015
    By the end of this year Myanmar should have been free of narcotics. Instead, production of opium is soaring and the East Asian country, once part of the fabled Golden Triangle, is the second largest producer in the world. Axel Kronholm investigates why.
  • Kunming-based think tank fighting Myanmar forest loss
    Go Kunming 15th Sep 2015
    A new project promoting agroforestry as a sustainable alternative to current farming practices in the uplands of Myanmar is underway. Led by the World Agroforestry Centre's East and Central Asia regional program, and approved by the country's Minister of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MECF), the undertaking aims to reforest mountainous landscapes prone to degradation.
  • Cambodia businesses fret Myanmar
    Myanmar Times 14th Sep 2015
    While Cambodia’s economic development is often compared to that of neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand’s, industry insiders say the Cambodia needs to keep a close eye on the steady progress being made in Myanmar, which is predicted to eat into Cambodia’s exports in the long term.

Business

  • MyanmarWater 2015, Renewable Energy Myanmar 2015 & REVAC Myanmar 2015 Moving towards Myanmar's Economic Growth
    PR Newswire 18th Sep 2015
    MyanmarWater 2015, Renewable Energy Myanmar 2015 and REVAC Myanmar 2015 kicked off with a grand opening ceremony this morning...
  • Investors warn of Myanmar challenges
    Eleven Myanmar 16th Sep 2015
    International investors have told the Myanmar Global Investment Forum that even though Myanmar generates much interest, there are a multitude of challenges that foreign investors face.
  • Strong growth for Myanmar automotive aftermarket
    Consultancy.uk 16th Sep 2015
    Myanmar's automotive aftermarket is undergoing an impressive growth phase following the ease of car import regulations after decades of restrictions, reveals a market study by Solidiance. Demands for spare parts and after sales services are on the rise as car circulation is dominated by second-hand units, with more than 20 Asian brands ruling the automotive aftermarket.
  • Myanmar expects a more vibrant post-election economy
    The Nation 16th Sep 2015
    Foreign investors are being wooed to invest more in Myanmar to take advantage of the country's Asean membership and geographic location, which should enhance its attractiveness after the election in November.

Finance

  • ICBC to fund trade finance in Myanmar
    Global Trade Review 16th Sep 2015
    Yoma Bank of Myanmar has teamed up with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to facilitate the flow of trade finance between the two countries.

Infrastructure

  • World Bank Offers Funds for Burma’s National Power Plan
    The Irrawaddy 17th Sep 2015
    The World Bank approved an interest-free loan to Burma of US$400 million on Wednesday to aid the country’s ambitious National Electrification Plan and its goal of ensuring nationwide access to electricity by 2030.
  • Electricity to Transform Rural Myanmar
    The World Bank 16th Sep 2015
    84% of households in rural Myanmar have no electricity connection, creating hardship, perpetuating poverty, and stalling development

Health

  • Myanmar ranks second in road deaths in SEA: Preliminary WHO findings
    Frontier Myanmar 16th Sep 2015
    The number of people dying on Myanmar’s roads is increasing, and the country ranks second in terms of deaths per capita in Southeast Asia, according to the preliminary findings of the World Health Organisation’s latest report on road safety in the region.

Technology

  • Smartphones Bring Happiness And Headaches To Myanmar
    NPR 14th Sep 2015
    The number of mobile subscribers in Myanmar has quickly grown in a short five years from a mere 500,000 to more than 22 million — giving Burmese a crash course in all the benefits and challenges new technology can bring.
  • Myanmar govt, Facebook to purge hate speech accounts
    Bangkok Times 14th Sep 2015
    The Myanmar government is set to work with Facebook to delete any accounts on the social network that post hate speech or incite personal attacks during the upcoming election, the President’s Office said.

Travel

  • Vietjet’s Yangon to Ho Chi Minh route on schedule
    Coconuts Yangon 16th Sep 2015
    The flight will take two hours and 15 minutes
  • Myanmar, Mandalay and the Lady
    BBC 12th Sep 2015
    After decades of military dictatorship, punitive Western sanctions, then the ravages of Hurricane Nargis, Mandalay, Myanmar's second city and emerging commercial hub, is undergoing rapid change, as the BBC's Leo Johnson discovered on a recent visit.

Culture

  • Taxonomist catalogs Myanmar’s flora for preservation, prosperity
    The Japan Times 18th Sep 2015
    Kazumi Fujikawa is scouring a nature-rich mountain range in Myanmar. Her mission, to find, identify and classify its flora, is central to the nation’s future economy and environment.
  • Q&A with the man behind Sharky's, Yangon's gourmand food empire
    Coconuts Yangon 18th Sep 2015
    Opened his second restaurant this week
  • Old Sofaer building commemorated with historical blue plaque
    Coconuts Yangon 18th Sep 2015
    It's now called the Lokanat
  • Stress Takes Toll on Elephants Forced to Work in Myanmar’s Timber Industry
    Takepart 17th Sep 2015
    Researchers find that the animals have babies that produce fewer offspring.
  • Gay Myanmar human rights activist's story now a film
    The Bay Area Reporter 17th Sep 2015
    Aung Myo Min didn't imagine the path his life would take when he was a university student in the late 1980s. He thought he would lead a peaceful life as a college professor, not the turbulent life of a human rights activist.

Entertainment

  • Ancient Myanmar mythology coming soon to a screen near you Print
    Myanmar Times 18th Sep 2015
    Myanmar game developer Total Gameplay Studio is tweaking the beta version of a new game entitled Rage of Rama, set for release next month.
  • First top of the line skatepark to be built in Yangon
    Coconuts Yangon 18th Sep 2015
    Construction expected to start in November
  • Christian electropop band inspired by Myanmar's ‘mystery and naivety’ shoot wacky video in Bagan
    Coconuts Yangon 15th Sep 2015
    British Christian electropoppers Ooberfuse have filmed a music video calling on Myanmar not to lose long-standing traditions amid the country's rapid change.
  • Anootsara double too much for Myanmar
    Myanmar Times 16th Sep 2015
    Home side Myanmar fell 2-1 to neighbours and favourites for the second round of Asia’s Women’s Olympic Football Qualification Thailand last night at Mandalay’s Mandalar Thiri Stadium.
  • Pocket-sized film festival a first for Myanmar cinema
    Myanmar Times 16th Sep 2015
    Show your smartphone savvy by submitting an entry to the first Myanmar Smart Phone Film Festival to be held in October 2015. It will feature footage by professionals and amateurs shot exclusively on smartphone cameras.
  • Yoma Yangon Int'l Marathon to be held in Myanmar
    Xinhua 12th Sep 2015
    The 4th edition of the Yoma Yangon International Marathon will be held in Myanmar's Yangon on Jan. 17 next year, according to race organizers on Saturday.

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