Myanmar, Thailand Agree To Boost Trade Reply

By KYAW HSU MON / THE IRRAWADDY| Thursday, June 30, 2016

YANGON –  The Myanmar nd Thai governments have agreed to boost bilateral trade volume to reach US$20 billion in 2017, Myanmar’s President’s Office announced..

The announcement was made after President Htin Kyaw met Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn and Minister of Defense Gen Prawit Wongsuwon on Wednesday in Naypyidaw. More…

Dozens Myanmar in Myitkyina Township Protest Myitsone Dam Meeting Reply

By MOE MYINT / THE IRRAWADDY| Saturday, June 4, 2016


Protesters against the Chinese-funded Myitsone dam in front of the Palm Spring Resort, Myitkyina Township, Kachin State. (Photo: Moe Myint / The Irrawaddy)

MYITKYINA, Kachin State , Myanmar – Some 40 residents of Kachin State’s Myitkyina Township staged a protest on Saturday against a meeting between Chinese Ambassador Hong Liang, Chinese investor China Power Investment (CPI) and president of the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP) Tu Ja over attempts to renegotiate the Chinese-funded Myitsone dam.

The protest took place between 8 and 9am in front of the Palm Spring Resort in Myitkyina. According to Zaw Naing, a participant, ralliers based their decision to protest on information they received prior to the meeting that CPI representatives would arrive at the hotel in the morning and would afterward meet with the KSDP to discuss the dam project.

Wearing headbands that read “No Dam” and carrying banners that said “Stop killing the Irrawaddy” and “CPI, get out of Kachin State,” protesters stressed their dissatisfaction with attempts to renegotiate and demanded that plans for the project be completely withdrawn.

Zaw Naing speculated that Myitkyina residents would probably accept small hydropower plants along the Irrawaddy River, but that CPI’s project calls for very large plants to support a dam located along a fault line, which could create even larger problems in the event of a natural disaster. Geologists are also allegedly wary of the project, voicing criticism that it is likely to do good neither for environmental conservation nor for local villagers.

Tu Ja told The Irrawaddy after the meeting: “I urged them to do what residents wish. If they want to build the dam, they should do so elsewhere. But CPI said they will stick to the contract and that if Burma wants to terminate the project, it will have to pay a large amount of money as compensation.”

Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) general secretary Tsa Ji accused CPI of persistently trying to convince “uneducated” villagers to come around to the project by offering them food, accessories and other sorts of commodities.

According to local reports, Kachin State chief ministers said that they will listen to people’s demands and stand together with the will of Burma’s citizens, while adding that the decision is ultimately up to the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government.

Tsa Ji emphasized that the previous government suspended the controversial project and that the country’s new, people-elected government should do the same, saying that this would be an opportune time to “unveil detailed information about the [project’s] contract.”

The Myitsone dam project is jointly run by Burma and China. Construction began in 2009 but was suspended in September 2011 due to intense pressure from the public.

Saturday’s protest was disbanded by police. No violence was reported.


Myanmar Labor Rights Protestors Forcibly Detained Near Naypyidaw Reply

By HTET NAING ZAW/ THE IRRAWADDY| Wednesday, May 18, 2016 |

MYANMAR tatkon

Police forcibly detain labor rights protestors in Tatkon Township on Wednesday. (Photo: Thiha / The Irrawaddy)

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar  — Police in Tatkon Township forcibly detained labor rights protestors marching from Sagaing Division to Naypyidaw, three weeks into the march and just miles outside the capital. More…

Myanmar forestry officials call for end to corruption Reply

By Mai Sara Htwe Mizzima Tuesday 17 May 2016

CAM Forestry-department-staff

Forestry department staff will submit an 8-point demand calling for the control and eradication of corruption.

The natural resources and environment conservation department director general Nyi Nyi Kyaw speaking at a forest resources sustainability workshop held on May 15 said that the demand would be discussed with union ministers and would be presented to parliament.

This 8-point demand calls for better pay and allowances to public servants, action against both sides in relation to corruption i.e. takers and givers, establishing an effective complaints system, issuing department policy and procedures for public awareness, relaxing and decentralizing procedures, and having an independent monitoring team to control and eradicate corruption in the department.

One former forestry official said that most corrupt officials in the forestry department were high ranking officials and they took large amount of bribes in relation to forest products extraction and sale. Lower ranking officials were only involved in small scale corruption such as collecting protection money from smugglers.

Director General Nyi Nyi Kyaw said that government staff should have good morals as the first phase in controlling corruption in the department.

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