Rangoon Chief Minister: ‘Public Support Is Our Strength’

RANGOON — When Phyo Min Thein was appointed Chief Minister of Rangoon Division in late March, the 46-year-old National League for Democracy lawmaker knew he would face multiple challenges, from deteriorating infrastructure to controversial development projects to foreign investment. The two-time political prisoner—who spent a total of 15 years behind bars—said that he learned perseverance […]

Yangon MPs told to stay clean

Tin Oo, co-founder of the National League for Democracy, has told Yangon regional parliamentarians to place special emphasis on the rules set by the party as the giant city is riddled with corruption. The NLD patron addressed the NLD central executive council and regional MPs at the party’s Yangon offices. “Yangon’s regional parliament will start […]

Corruption the Biggest Concern for Burma Businesses: Survey

RANGOON — Corruption is the top concern for businesses in Burma, which is undergoing liberal reforms after the end of military rule, according to a UN-led survey released on Tuesday. Five decades of military rule left Burma mired in poverty and plagued by corruption, but a quasi-civilian government that took power in 2011 has enacted […]

Oil firms draw most rights complaints

The oil and gas sector continues to draw the most complaints regarding transparency and human rights practices in Myanmar, according to a survey conducted by business watch groups and released last week. Some 47 percent of allegations recorded by the report released from the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) were addressed at the […]

Most Myanmar have hopes high for the future, survey finds

A public opinion survey which found that nearly 90 percent of those questioned believe Myanmar is heading in the right direction has also revealed serious concerns about low incomes, unemployment, a lack of aid for the farm sector and the quality of healthcare and education. The survey of 3,000 people, interviewed throughout the country from […]

Myanmar’s Logging Export Ban Aims to Protect Shrinking Forests

YANGON — Myanmar’s more than $6 billion trade in illegal timber has continued despite attempts to limit logging, according to a new report released by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and a logging export ban set to begin April 1 may not be enough to save the country’s shrinking forests. According to official figures, […]

Myanmar Forms Anti-bribery Commission to Fight Corruption

Myanmar has formed an Anti-Bribery Commission to fight corruption and bribery in government organisations, according to an announcement from the President’s Office. The 15-member Anti-Bribery Commission is headed by U Mya Win, a retired military serviceman. Former ambassador U Tin Oo was assigned as secretary to the commission, the announcement said. The formation of the […]

Businesses worry red tape will remain an obstacle despite reforms

Cutting red tape in line with regional standards is going to be an uphill struggle for many government departments, experts said, as the government has instructed its ministries to simplify bureaucratic procedures to meet ASEAN standards by the end of March. U Tin Maung Than, director and senior research fellow of Myanmar Development Resource Institute […]

UK invites Myanmar’s cooperation in fighting illegal wildlife trade

YANGON—The UK government has invited the Myanmar government to attend an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade to be held in London in February. “The UK hopes that H.E. President Thein Sein’s government will be represented in London,” the British Embassy said today. The conference, to be hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron […]

Ahead of Elections, Thilawa Pitched as Jobs Booster

YANGON — Officials hope that the soon-to-start “Special Economic Zone” at Thilawa near Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon will underpin a jobs boom in time for the country’s 2015 elections. Building work at the 6,000-acre Thilawa SEZ will begin soon, according to Set Aung, deputy governor of Myanmar’s Central Bank. Set Aung told The Irrawaddy that […]