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Mon State budget triples due to rise in development projects
Myanmar Times, 24/10/2017
THE Mon State government’s budget trebled last year compared with the previous administration, the regional government office said Monday. State Minister for Panning, Immigration, Labour and Population Department U Wunna Kyaw said the increase in budget allocation was due to rise in the number of development projects being undertaken in the region. “The state will embark on Municipal projects scheduled for three years within one year period and the Mon State will be improved in the short period,” he said. In the period of the former government, the budget for the development of the state was about K6 billion and the amount have been used up. “For this government era, the Municipal budget will be increased to over K19 billion in one year,” he said. U Wunna Kyaw said that the present government will work within 5 years, a 15-year development plan for the state, ma...
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New Law to Protect Women, Girls against Violence
The Irrawaddy, 17/10/2017
YANGON — after four years of waiting, Myanmar’s first legislation tackling violence against women will be submitted to Parliament during the parliamentary session that reconvened on Tuesday. The Prevention and Protection of Violence against Women Bill has been in development since 2013, drafted by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and women’s rights groups amid calls for an urgent need to cover women and girls with separate legal protection. In just one recent example of brutality against women, a husband killed his wife and three daughters in Irrawaddy Division’s Bogale Township. He had asked his wife for money in order to buy alcohol, the request escalating into an argument and the attacks. He was later arrested and confessed to the murders. Upper House Lawmaker Naw Susana Hla Hla Soe, who is also a secretary of the parliamentary Women and Childre...
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Government’s Peace Commission will meet DPN
Mizzima, 21/10/2017
Government’s Peace Commission (PC) and Delegation for Peace Negotiation (DPN) will reportedly meet to discuss four unresolved points for the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Organizing and Information Committee issued a press statement which says this upcoming 7th meeting with PC will be held at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) in Yangon on October 23-24. The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) formed the Delegation for Peace Negotiation (DPN) for negotiating with the government. The negotiations have been underway between DPN and PC for 15 months on the 8-point proposal made by the UNFC but have not yet reached agreement even though they have met seven times. DPN second leader Nai Aung Ma Nge said, “Our 8-point proposal is in fact the words included in NCA when we look back. But ...
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thnic Armed Groups Lament ‘Delayed’ Peace Process
The Irrawaddy, 20/10/2017
The new peace process under the National League for Democracy (NLD) government has been sluggish, according to some ethnic armed groups, who cite differences between the Tatmadaw and government as well as a lack of experience and skills in those leading the process. “It has been delayed,” said Saw Mra Raza Lin, vice chairperson of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP). “If the government care about the people and the country, it should prioritize how to overcome those delays.” While there are differences within the government, ethnic armed organizations (E AO) are also not unified, proposing alternative approaches to peace building, which has hampered the process, she said. “It is the disunity among the EAOs which is hindering the process to step up. So we, including the government, all have to try to get all of the EAOs on board,” she added. According to peace observ...
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Non-Signatories Forgo Sending Delegation to NCA Anniversary
The Irrawaddy, 13/10/2017
YANGON — Non-signatories of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) will not attend an event in Naypyitaw on Sunday to mark the two-year anniversary of the signing of the accord. Ethnic bloc United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) stated it would not attend because it had little time to prepare for the event. The government accepted on Tuesday the request of eight NCA signatories to allow NCA non-signatories to join the event—just four days before the event scheduled on Sunday. The UNFC comprises the New Mon State Party (NMSP), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) and Arakan National Council (ANC). NMSP is considering signing the NCA before the third session of the 21st Century Panglong, which is expected to take place in November. Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC)—a United Wa State Army (UWSA)-led...
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Committee Begins Development of English, Myanmar, and Karen Languages Dictionary
Karen News, 18/10/2017
An effort to compile Myanmar’s first dictionary for English, Myanmar, Sgaw Karen, Western Pwo Karen, and Eastern Pwo Karen languages is underway, the project’s organizing committee said. The dictionary is intended to keep an up-to-date register of the languages, as well as to make a usable resources for vocational training schools, ethnic language and literature education, and for web searches and future publications, an organizing committee representative said. “The Ministry of Education has shown interest in our dictionary and asked us how they can assist us. The government doesn’t have any experts on ethnic affairs so they have started relying on us more. This book will become a historic volume that will last for a long time,” said Naw Pann Thinzar Myo, Karen Ethnic Affairs Minister for Yangon Region and chairperson of the dictionary’s organizing committee. The co...
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ASEAN’s largest packaging firm to start Thilawa operations next year
Myanmar Times, 09/10/2017
Kian Joo Group, the largest packaging business in ASEAN, is investing in a packaging plant in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Construction of the plant is expected to be complete by the first quarter of next year. Malaysia-based Kian Joo is one of the biggest can manufacturers within ASEAN, manufacturing a wide range of products and providing packaging services. The group has manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and Vietnam, with its international procurement and marketing centre in Singapore. Kian Joo first expanded into Thilawa in early 2015. The company set up Kianjoo Can Myanmar (KJMM) and Boxpak Myanmar (BPMM) with an initial capital of US$16 million and $7.5 million respectively for the Thilawa project. The total investment cost is expected to amount to $75 million for KJMM and $38 million for BPMM. At a time of rising demand and promising growth prospects in M...
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Co-op education programs underway to spur long-term development
Myanmar Times, 09/10/2017
Education programs and discussions are being held over the long-term development of cooperatives (co-ops), which have been providing loans to small-scale farmers and citizens, said U Myo Aung, director of Cooperatives Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation. The Cooperatives Department was a separate department under the Ministry of Cooperatives under the previous government. Under the current government, the two ministries worked together to set policies and procedures for livestock and agriculture businesses in the country to form co-ops to help growth. A co-op represents an association of persons, farms or businesses owned and run jointly by its members, who unite voluntarily to meet common economic or social goals and share the profits or benefits. “The main aim is to have continuous long-term development in agriculture and other sectors,...
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Schools to get more ethnic language teachers
Myanmar Times, 28/09/2017
Some language teachers teaching ethnic languages at government schools will be appointed as regular teaching assistants this year, according to the Department of Ethnic Literature and Culture. This was among the decisions made at last month’s meeting of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs. It aims at reducing the number of drop-outs among children in ethnic areas and to develop job opportunities for language teachers speaking ethnic languages. “We are aiming to improve teaching methods. Most of the children from ethnic region can only speak their ethnic language. Course taught in Burmese language can be really difficult for those children, which leads to high drop-out rates in ethnic regions. “Most of the children leave school before ending the primary level due to the language barrier,” U Win Naing, deputy director general for the Department...
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Govt committee proposes up to $3.50 daily minimum wage
DVB, 04/10/2017
A government-appointed committee has tentatively agreed to set Burma’s minimum daily wage at between 4,000 and 4,800 kyat (US$2.93–$3.50). The decision was made during the third consultative meeting of the National Minimum Wage Committee on Monday. Committee members, including MP Thein Swe, had consulted both employers’ representatives and workers’ representatives before reaching a decision. Thein Swe, an upper house lawmaker representing the ruling National League for Democracy, said, “The minimum wage will be set uniformly across all regions and states in the country, with no discrimination regarding the nature of the job.” However, at least one of the committee members has voiced an opinion saying that he does not belief the figure of 4,000 to 4,800 kyat per day is feasible. “It is unlikely that the employers will accept this amount,” said Naw Aung, who rep...
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