Friday, July 10th, 2015


A military representative on Wednesday attempted to pour cold water on the aspirations of those who want to see Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi one day become president, as lawmakers convened for a second day of deliberations on proposed constitutional amendments.
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A two-day workshop in Rangoon has failed to find common ground between workers’ representatives and employers, as the Burmese government prepares to implement an official minimum wage in the coming months.

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A proposal to scale back the military’s grip on the constitution hit a roadblock yesterday during the first of three days of debate, with a military MP objecting to a plan that would see the threshold for amendments lowered from 75 percent of MPs to 70pc.
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The Union Election Commission has rejected calls from the National League for Democracy to extend the period for voters to check electoral rolls are accurate, insisting the two-week window is long enough.

The rolls went on display in ward offices across 10 states and regions on June 22, and voters will have until July 5 to ensure their accuracy. Errors can be corrected by submitting the relevant form to the ward office.

But U Tun Tun Hein, who leads the NLD’s committee for analysing voter lists, said yesterday that more time was needed.

“We can’t fix all the mistakes within 14 days because there are just so many,” he said. “It is time-consuming work. We are asking questions to get the real data by going door to door.”

On June 3, the NLD released an open letter to the UEC saying voter lists that went on display in the second phase of the electoral roll project featured error rates ranging from 30 to 80 percent.

Mistakes across the 22 townships included about 600 people from two wards being left off in Kyauktan township, while 70 people in Hlaing Tharyar township were listed at the same address.

But UEC member U Win Kyi said 14 days was “enough”.

“In the 2010 and 2012 elections we gave only seven days. Now, we are giving more and it is only the provisional list. We will announce the final list after the election date is announced and voters will have another chance to correct it,” he said yesterday.

“It’s up to the people to correct the voter lists themselves. If we announced that instead of putting voter lists on display we were going to give out mobile phones, you can be sure there would be plenty of people at the ward offices jostling each other.”

While lack of time is an issue, Ma Shwe Yee Win, founder of the voter education NGO Peace and Justice Myanmar, said the biggest problem was lack of interest from the public.

U Win Kyi said voter lists for military and police personnel and their families would only be released after the election date is announced in August. He declined to say why they had been excluded from the current voter list display program.

http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/15190-uec-rejects-call-for-more-time-on-voter-lists.html

Rakhine State electoral officials have posted voter lists for public inspection ahead of the November general elections and, as expected, several hundred thousand Rohingya Muslims who hold only temporary ID documents had their disenfranchisement confirmed.
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Union Election Commission Chairman Tin Aye has disallowed political parties from campaigning in military barracks in the lead-up to the general elections later this year.
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Tourists will be able to visit five Southeast Asian nations on a single visa under a scheme recommended Monday at a regional business forum in Nay Pyi Taw according to the Global New Light of Myanmar on 23 June.
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A Myanmar-based software development company, Synapse, has developed a phone app that can help passengers find shared taxi rides, reports Dealstreetasia on June 19.
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A Total of 52 local and international companies have shown interest to partner with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) to develop a base for resupplying offshore oil and gas businesses.
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Global Treasure Bank plunged into more than a new name in 2013, when it shed its former identity as the state-owned Myanmar Livestock and Fisheries Development Bank and began building itself as a private-sector bank.
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Rice dealers are striving to strike the right balance between exporting and managing local prices, amid warnings from some businesspeople that too much rice is being exported.
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Maungdaw, Arakan State: Ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, the prices of essential items, including rice, chickpeas (sona), beef, onion, sugar, edible oil and fish have been increasing in the kitchen markets of Maungdaw Townships, according to Kala Meah, a trader from Maungdaw.
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Young people suffering from spinal complaints could receive free treatment under a program launched by Mandalay Orthopaedic Hospital.
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Officials from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and China are raising concerns that the Myanmar-Laos Friendship Bridge, which officially opened last month,could bring the risk of increased drug trafficking along the routethe Chiang Rai Times reported on 23 June.
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Southeast Asia’s lawless “Golden Triangle” region remains the overwhelming source of the heroin and methamphetamine sold in China, the country’s Cabinet said in a report issued Wednesday.
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Thai police said on Tuesday they had “shown sincerity” and wrapped up the country’s biggest investigation into human trafficking, as rights groups questioned whether they had even scratched the surface.
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Working conditions for migrant workers at Thai factories that produce tuna for European markets have improved, according to a new follow-up report published by Finnwatch.
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Thai Buddhists have offered to help a network of hardline anti-Muslim Myanmar monks set up a radio station to spread their message across a nation where sectarian hatred is on the rise.
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It is not uncommon for religious authority to make a moral intervention in secular affairs. This month’s encyclical on climate change by Pope Francis and the mobilization of Buddhist monks during Burma’s 2007 Saffron Revolution are two recent examples where spiritual leaders considered it necessary to participate in addressing universal problems for the sake of the common good.
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The historic conflict between the Muslims and Rakhines in the Rakhine State of Myanmar has complicated the religious landscape and aggravated tensions, where the Rohingya Muslim faces ethnic and religious discrimination. Added to this, in the new political scene, the rise of Buddhist nationalism has become a significant socio-political force in Myanmar.
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