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Riding around with worries

On a Sunday and public holidays, the streets in front of the Hlaing Tharyar council office buildings are quiet and empty. U Htay Hlaing, aged 63, sits on his motorbike waiting to give his passengers a ride back home. Last year he converted his motorbike into a trishaw, which he uses to ferry people around […]

Calls to legalise wildcat oil-well operators

There is a need to legalise the activities of the wildcat prospectors whose hand-dug oil wells dot the land in Magwe Region, in central Myanmar. These illegal activities are a source of corrupt practices and loss of revenue to the regional government. These wells, a source of income and jobs for many in the surrounding […]

Withered leaves: the jailing of Myanmar’s hemp pioneers

A scheme to pioneer hemp cultivation in Myanmar resulted in a police raid, three arrests and an ongoing trial, despite being green-lit by the Mandalay Region government. AS WE ENTERED the compound of the family home in Myotha West village, we encountered a middle-aged man reading out loud from the Paṭṭhāna, a Buddhist scripture. A […]

Myanmar seizes over 326 tons of illegal timbers in NW region

Myanmar authorities seized a total of 326.8 tons of illegally harvested timbers in Sagaing region during the month of May, police said Sunday. The illegal timbers were confiscated in Tamu, a border town in the region with India, during search operations across the area by a combined team of Myanmar police force, forest department and […]

In jungles of Myanmar, sin city looks to a better future

Upon cruising on its wide, well-paved streets, the first question that enters a visitor’s mind is whether the city is still part of Myanmar. Past the lush green mountains where the concrete roads snake through the hinterlands, past what seems like never-ending rice fields, lies the concrete jungle of Mine Lar city, popularly known as […]

Illegal charcoal trade threatens Myanmar’s remaining mangroves

Mangroves from Myanmar are illegally harvested and converted into charcoal that is sent to Thailand before it’s sold to China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia by sea. The depletion of mangroves in southern Myanmar is impacting local fisheries near the island villages. The illegal charcoal trade persists due to a lack of law enforcement […]

Gold mine officials accused of making false claim

The Myanmar Anti-Corruption Commission has charged three directors of gold mine concessionaire National Prosperity Co (NPC) with submitting a false claim accusing civil servants of corruption. NPC managing director U Tun Aung Soe submitted the complaint to the commission requesting an investigation of the alleged illegal extraction of gold and other minerals by civil servants […]

Businesses misusing farmland face hefty fines, warns minister

The government will punish people and companies that use farmland for purposes other than growing crops with a fine of 30 percent of the land’s market value. The government-led Leading Committee for Farmers Rights, Protection and Promoting of Interests set the penalty at a meeting earlier this month, said U Aung Thu, committee secretary and […]

Parliament passes gemstone bill amid criticism

Myanmar’s parliament has passed a controversial bill governing the gemstone sector, paving the way to restart the licensing of mining companies after a two-year moratorium. Upon taking office in 2016, the National League for Democracy-led administration suspended issuing new or extension of existing gemstone licences pending a governance review intended to clean up the sector. […]

Central bank to issue official remittance licences soon

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) will grant official remittance Llicences to authorised money changers within two months, CBM Deputy Governor U Bo Bo Nge told the media on Wednesday. The move is expected to curb illegal remittances and the informal flow of foreign currency into the country under the Hundi, U Bo Bo Nge […]