Myanmar scraps loathed ‘midnight inspections’ law

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar is scrapping part of a hated law that forced people to report overnight guests and was used by authorities to barge into houses late at night, often targeting activists. The country’s parliament, now filled with former political prisoners after landmark polls in November, voted to remove the controversial clause on Monday […]

Emerging Myanmar discovering it pays to insure

YANGON – It was only when Aye Aye Nge’s pharmacy burned down for the second time that she thought about taking out insurance, a novelty in impoverished Myanmar where most people either can’t afford to buy premiums or don’t trust those selling them. The two blazes — one in 2010 and then in January this […]

Myanmar tourism boom set to bring 7.5m visitors a year

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar is hoping to lure 7.5 million tourists a year by 2019, an official said on Tuesday (Aug 2), as the impoverished former junta-ruled nation emerges as one of Southeast Asia’s hot destinations. Travel to the once-cloistered country used to be reserved for the well-heeled and intrepid, prepared to endure the travails […]

Promised work, Myanmar women instead forced to marry in China

HLAING THAR YAR (Myanmar) — Enticed by work in China, hundreds of poor young Myanmar women are instead being duped into marriage, and left to scramble to get back across remote borders before they are forced into life with husbands they have never met. In April, Ms Kyi Pyar Soe, 22, vanished from her community […]

Myanmar eyes closure of wildlife trade hub on Chinese border

Mong La, a lawless border town located in rebel-held territory in Myanmar’s Shan state, is a market for endangered species and products which are freely traded, largely to Chinese tourists. YANGON: Myanmar authorities plan to shut down a notorious border town where exotic animal parts are sold openly, an official said Tuesday, as Southeast Asia […]

Myanmar gem firms say $138m ‘missing’ from industry fund

YANGON (AFP) – An embezzlement probe has been launched after nearly US$100 million (S$138 million) vanished from a fund set up by Myanmar’s gem companies, a trade body said on Thursday (June 2), raising corruption fears in an industry notorious for its shady dealings. Mining – especially for jade – was firmly in the hands […]

Strong quake hits northern Myanmar, shakes neighbouring countries

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar on Wednesday, causing tremors around the region, including in neighbouring Bangladesh where scores were reported injured in stampedes and buildings were damaged. YANGON: A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar on Wednesday (Apr 13), causing tremors around the region, including in neighbouring Bangladesh where scores were reported injured in stampedes and buildings […]

Myanmar investors swot up for new bourse

YANGON – Inside the graceful halls of Myanmar’s first modern bourse business leaders crowd into a crash course on sharetrading, as the former junta-run country takes another leap towards economic revitalisation. Rangoon Stock Exchange (YSX) is due to debut its first listed company on Friday, just days before a new civilian government overseen by Aung […]

Aung san suu kyis party rebuts fake Myanmar president release

YANGON (AFP) – Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party on Monday (March 7) denounced as “fake” a widely circulated letter purporting to reveal its choice of proxy Myanmar president, as speculation over who will take the role reaches fever pitch. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) have kept a tight lid on […]

Gem merchants converge in Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW (MYANMAR) – Hundreds of merchants from China to Malaysia flocked to Naypyidaw on Friday to inspect jade and other precious stones at an annual auction that offered a glimpse into the country’s notoriously murky but lucrative gems industry. A merchant inspects jade during the 52nd Myanmar Jade and Gem Emporium at the Maniyadana Emporium […]