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Karen IDPs ask KNU leadership to reject hydropower dams
Burma News International, 20/03/2017
As the Karen National Union prepares to elect a new leadership body this week, displaced Karen families joined a local environmental group in lobbying for the next chairperson to reject hydropower proposals. On March 14, International Day of Action for Rivers, Karen Rivers Watch held a demonstration on the bank of the Salween. Members of the Ee Tu Htat and Uweklo internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps attended the event, which was held near Uweklo village. “We want the elders of the KNU who will be elected at the 16th congress to reject dam projects. If the new Karen leaders change their minds [to allow the dams] the decision will neglect the needs of the local people and leave us very worried,” said Sa Tu Tu Sten, one of the event leaders. The three-week KNU Congress, which is currently meeting in Hpa-An district, will elect leadership and establish a four-year agenda. B...
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Lighting Festival: Till April 30 At People’s Park
MITV News, 20/03/2017
The very first Myanmar International Lighting Festival organized by DN Development Group started at People’s Park on Sunday. Hello! Everyone, the 1st Myanmar International Lighting Festival is being held at People’s Park with the aim of celebrating Myanmar New Year with an extravagant lighting Festival. Regional Security and Border Affairs Minister Col. Tin Aung Tun, Rakhine Ethnic Affairs Minister U Zaw Aye Maung and President of UMFCCI U Zaw Myint Win attended the opening ceremony. Project Manager, DN Development Group, Hein Htet: We got the idea from Singapore’s Lighting Festival during the last Christmas. In January, we discussed with the Yangon Region Chief Minister on holding such an event and he agreed. Now it is a good time after exams and before Thingyan, our new year. So, we are holding this event to help the people have fun and relax. The electricity consumpti...
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Electricity Supply: China-Myanmar Electric Power Project
MITV News, 20/03/2017
The China Three Gorges Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Electric Power since 2010 to promote more electric power development in Myanmar. The China Three Gorges Corporation was established in 1993. It is a Chinese state-owned power company and it is strategically positioned as a clean energy group focusing on large-scale hydropower development and operation, as well as wind and solar power. CTG also cooperate with Ministry of Electric Power signed to develop electric power project in Hydro, wind and solar power in Chin and Rakhine States, as well as Ayeyawaddy, Sagaing, and Yangon Regions. Chief Representative , China Three Gorges International Cooperation (Myanmar) , Shan Haichao: “Actually, Myanmar is a very good country because we are neighbors and Myanmar electricity is a very high because company if you want for the economic dev...
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Mon State Day celebrations hear call for peace effort
Eleven Myanmar, 20/03/2017
Aye San, the Chief Minister of Mon State, made an address and a message from President Htin Kyaw was read out by Min Kyi Win, the Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. As part of the activities, prizes were handed out and members of the Mon, Kayin and Pa-O ethnic groups entertained those present with folk dances. Htin Kyaw said in his message that he hoped the Mon ethnic groups would actively participate in the peace process and the 21st Panglong Conference being implemented by the government. Aye San said the government was making progress with political and economic reforms aimed at steering the country into a new era, adding that popularly elected lawmakers are trying to implement policies on issues including national reconciliation, peace and the constitution. These efforts will help the federal union to achieve higher standards of living, “We h...
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Parties without parliament seats barred from peace conference
Eleven Myanmar, 20/03/2017
The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) will create a list of the political parties who did not win any seats in the 2015 election and submit them to the Union Peace Conference. Election losers were allowed to attend the peace conference in January 2015 under the Thein Sein administration. However, they were excluded from the second round of the peace conference in September, which was held by the National League for Democracy. “It’s up to the government whether to invite all some 90 political parties. Former President U Thein Sein allowed every party to attend the conference even if they did not win any seats. But the government now invites only the parties that won a seat in Parliament. We keep telling the government [to think about parties without MPs], but the authorities won’t budge. So we’re collecting the ideas from all the parties for the peace conference,...
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NCA signatories meet with DPN of UNFC in Chiang Mai
Eleven Myanmar, 20/03/2017
Leaders of eight Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signatories met representatives of the Delegation of Peace Negotiation (DPN) of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) in Chiang Mai on Sunday. The UNFC was formed with ethnic armed groups that have not signed on to the NCA. The NCA has been signed by eight ethic armed groups so far. “We are now updating the UNFC status,” said Phado Saw Kywe Htoo Win, the secretary-general of Karen National Union (KNU), which signed an NCA with the government. “We discussed the current situation of the UNFC. Information arising from meetings of the work committee of national-level political dialogue is being shared. The representatives of DPN of the UNFC met with the government peace commission on March 3. The commission agreed in principle on a nine-point proposal submitted by the UNFC. “All peace negotiators have the res...
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Loikaw, Mae Hong Son sign sister-city deal to foster cooperation
Burma News International, 18/03/2017
Loikaw has a new sister city across the border with Thailand. The Kayah (Karenni) State capital signed an agreement with Mae Hong Son on March 9. Kayah State and Mae Hong Son Province officials said the new pact will help both sides to boost tourism, trade and rural development projects. “Agriculture is the backbone of our country. In our state, we still have a lot of difficulties with the land. We need investments to help improve [the farming sector],” said Kayah State Chief Minister L Paung Sho. “Now that we have already signed the MoU [memorandum of understanding] we will work together to improve agriculture.” The two neighbors already signed an agreement for a border training center in Mae Sariang, Thailand in October 2016. To take bilateral trade a step further, officials from both countries met in Nay Pyi Taw in the second week of January, laying the foundations...
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Heritage preservation potential boost for tourism
Myanmar Times, 06/03/2017
On March 1, Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein posted a clip on Facebook saying that the regional government is preserving around 200 heritage buildings in Yangon. “We are preserving heritage buildings in Yangon numbering about 200 buildings … We also plan to preserve and renovate … the old Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Office building and the Secretariat without doing any damage to [their] heritage value. It [the project] would be supervised directly by the regional government,” the chief minister said. Yangon Regional Government, in cooperation with Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) and Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), is heading the installation of blue plaques at buildings for preservation and commemoration. Currently, 17 blue plaques have been installed at buildings, and plans to install about 100 more blue plaques are underway. Furthermore, YHT has alre...
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Ministry aims at 1 million housing units by 2030
Myanmar Times, 10/03/2017
The Ministry of Construction has planned to implement one million units by 2030, according to the government’s housing development plan. The plan began in 2012 and it is intended to be implemented over the course of five years. As the plan is reaching its first five-year marker, the government should be building an estimated 300,000 housing units every five years. “However, during 2011 and 2016, they [construction] didn’t reach the target”, said U Thar Htay, chair of the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneur Association (MCEA). “The Ministry of Construction announced that they would implement one million units by 2030 … they didn’t reach the target in the past five years. The ministry specifically used the budget from the Union Government for that [project], but they didn’t reach the target,” he said. The project of housing development began in 2011, at the t...
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Students and parents welcome new exam system
Myanmar Times, 09/03/2017
In the new system, students have to take new approaches and methods to prepare for the exams. The final exams in all the basic education grades except the matriculation exam were previously evaluated by the school exam system, but it has been three years since the final exams of the fourth and eighth standards were changed to the government exam system. In the previous school exam system, the basic education students including matriculation classes were ranked first, second, third and so on depending on the marks they scored. But, in the academic year of 2015-16, most of the basic education schools switched from the numeric ranking system to the grading system using letters A, B, C and D. During the current academic year of 2016-17, all the basic education schools in Myanmar have been using this new grading system for exam results. Previously, students from the fourth and eig...
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