Sunday, 20 April 2014

Pen Myanmar denounces unfair imprisonment to DVB reporter

Pen Myanmar denounces unfair imprisonment to DVB reporter

Pen Myanmar, organised by Nay Phone Latt, blogger, activist, and winner of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, released a statement on April 18 condemning unfair imprisonment sentenced to DVB reporter Zaw Pe, aka Thura Thet Tin.

Magway township court sentenced the DVB reporter to one year in jail plus hard labour under Section 353 and Section 448 on April 7. The first penalty is for obstruction of authorities' duty and the second punishment is for trespass.

Pen Myanmar expressed concerns over the security for the journalists who are struggling for freedom of expression in the transition period to democracy, the statement said. 

The freedom of expression is the inalienable right of every citizen. Moreover, the Chapter (8) of the 2008 Constitution stated that the citizens have the right to express and publish freely their convictions and opinions. Only then security can be fully given to the journalists, will the freedom of expression take effect and the citizens get access to information, the statement said.

The place where the township education officer takes office is the public area where anyone can go in and out. For this case, the journalist went to the government office, which is a public area, within office hour. Trespass means invading privately owned area. The journalist has no intention to frighten, insult and begrudge and so taking action against the journalist by using the outdated penal codes goes against the Section 448, the statement said.

Moreover, although the Section 353 is protected the public servant for obstruction of authorities' duty, the journalist made no attempt to disturb and stop. Taking this action against the reporter is not appropriate, the statement said.

Such punishment given to the journalists seems to threaten and bully media professionals who are struggling for the citizens' right to know information. The imprisonment to the journalists encroaches upon the freedom of expression, the statement said.

The DVB reporter and a parent of a student tried to question about qualification criteria of students being sent to Japan under the Kizuna Project, run by the Japanese government in August in 2012. For that reason, Magway Township Court sentenced Democratic Voice of Burma reporter Thura Thet Tin, aka Zaw Pe, and a parent Win Myint Hlaing for one year in jail on April 7 for trespassing, obstructing officials on duty and conspiracy to do so, according to local sources.

All journalist associations at home and abroad considered that such imprisonment sentenced to the journalists was a proof of media oppression and demanded for an immediate release of the journalists, targeted for oppression.


Mister Global 2014, Myat Thuya Lwin to go to Thailand for job and charity

Mister Global 2014, Myat Thuya Lwin to go to Thailand for job and charity


Myat Thuya Lwin and other contestants in Mister Global 2014, Thailand

Mister Global 2014, Myat Thuya Lwin from Myanmar will be visiting Thailand to meet his sponsor Mister Global Organisation in order to coordinate his job and charity activities.

"At first, the contestants from the Mister Global 2014 pageant came to Myanmar and coordinate philanthropy with me. But now, I need to go Thailand and sign the contract with the Mister Global Organisation. I still do not know the time limit of the contract in detail. As Mister Global, I have to coordinate with them on social services and career, like modeling for the whole year. In addition, the amount of the reward money is undecided as it was not specified in the pageant. It will be given after the discussion between me and them, but not duringthe ceremony. That's why I plan to go to Thailand in June," said Myat Thuya Lwin.

This was the first time that Myanmar model took part in Mister Global among 20 international contestants. Myat Thuya Lwin is currently photo-modelling for the periodicals and plans to do the philanthropic work before going to Thailand.

He is the 19 year-old second-year correspondence student for psychology major. He joined the modelling class and the Myanmar Motion Picture Association's acting course. He started his acting career in his debut movie, 'It really exists'.


Foreign investment in Myanmar totalling over US$46 billion

Foreign investment in Myanmar totalling over US$46 billion


Hotel project invested by Vietnam (Photo - EMG)

Myanmar recorded US$4.1 billion in foreign investment for fiscal year 2013-2014, tallying the total investment from 34 countries to US$46 billion, according to Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration.

The number of countries invested in Myanmar increased by two from 32 in the previous fiscal year. Some 50,571 jobs were created by December due to the inflow of foreign capital.

Foreign investment projects include energy, petroleum and natural gas, commodities, mineral extraction, hotel and tourism, property development, livestock, fisheries and agriculture.

Last year saw a steady flow of investment being channelled to the production of commodities, said the Myanmar Investment Commission.

China ranks first with more than US$14 billion in investment, followed by Thailand (US$10 billion) and Hong Kong (US$6 billion).


Myanmar's Rohingya face a humanitarian crisis

Sittwe, Myanmar - Ruk and Kun Suma were born five minutes apart on March 27 in a camp for displaced Rohingya in Rakhine State, a northwestern province of Myanmar. Their mother, an emaciated 40-year-old woman named Noor Begun, suffers from tuberculosis and is unable to breastfeed them. The family cannot afford milk either. For the first two weeks of their lives, Ruk and Kuma received only cheap coffee creamer from the tip of Noor's fingers.

The twins need urgent medical care to survive, but there are no medical doctors stationed in the nine overcrowded camps near Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, where more than 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) live.

Since the explosion of violence in June 2012 between the Rohingya Muslim minority and the Rakhine Buddhist majority that left 140 dead, entire villages razed to the ground and at least 140,000 IDPs - the overwhelming majority of them Muslims - the Rohingya living in the camps have relied on aid provided by international agencies.

In early March, Myanmar's government decided to expel Medecins Sans Frontiers [Doctors Without Borders] from Rakhine State after the NGO declared that it had treated 22 people injured by knife wounds. At least 40 Rohingya had been killed there by Rakhine mobs and Burmese security forces in January, according to the UN and human rights groups. The Myanmar government, which has not allowed independent observers to access the area, forcefully denies the attacks took place.

The presidential spokesman, Ye Htut, declared that the government would not extend the NGO's memorandum of understanding to operate in Rakhine State, and accused it of not being transparent and giving preferential treatment towards "Bengalis" - the term that the government and many Myanmar citizens use for the Rohingya, implying that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite the fact that they have been living in Rakhine State for generations.

The Rohingya were rendered stateless by a citizenship law passed in 1982 and, according to a report recently released by Fortify Rights , have been the victims of crimes against humanity at the hand of the Myanmar's government and the local authorities.

The expulsion of MSF deprived 750,000 people , including Buddhist Rakhines, of virtually any healthcare - and has led to dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths. The situation got worse a month later, when mobs of infuriated Rakhines attacked the offices of several aid agencies in Sittwe, after a worker from Malteser International took down a Buddhist flag from the organisation's office. Around 150 international workers from Malteser and other organisations were evacuated from Rakhine state, and have not yet returned.

Controversial census

The tensions in Rakhine State mounted in the weeks ahead of the national census held from late March to early April, the first such count since 1983. Partly funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the census has been marred by controversy from the beginning.

The Washington-based Transnational Institute stated in a detailed report that "the census promises to compound old grievances with a new generation of complexities".

In late January, the government assured that everybody would have the opportunity to choose the ethnicity they wished, including the Rohingya, according to international standards - against the opposition of the Rakhine community.

There were even negotiations between the Ministry of Immigration and Population and a Rohingya Census Supporting Committee about employing Rohingya census workers in Muslim areas of Rakhine State.

"The Committee offered the Ministry of Immigration a list of Muslim enumerators on December 20, but they refused, claiming that some in the list didn't hold National Registration Cards. A second list was submitted on January 31, this time composed of people with cards and higher education for consideration, and the ministry said it would consider it, but they refused to accept Rohingya enumerators on March 13, alleging pressures from the Rakhine," a person close to the negotiations told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.

"I think that the government deceived the Rohingya Committee for months and led it to believe that the Rohingya enumerators would be accepted to prevent Rohingya leaders from organising any movement to oppose the census," concluded the same person.

Eventually, the government sent Rakhine enumerators surrounded by security forces to conduct the census in Rohingya areas of Arakan state. And, on March 30, three days after the attacks against the aid agencies in Sittwe, it announced that it would not accept the Rohingya ethnicity in the census. The UNFPA issued a statement expressing its concern about the decision, but did not withdraw funding.

According to several Rohingya interviewed by Al Jazeera in the IDP camps, when the enumerators visited them, they first asked for their ethnic group. When they answered "Rohingya", they simply said "thank you very much" and left, excluding at least 800,000 people from the census.

Aid withdrawn

Today, the IDPs have more urgent things to worry about than being counted in the census. The government has not yet issued travel authorisations to Rakhine state for international workers. The Myanmar government has not been able to fill the gap left by the international organisations and there are even allegations from a witness of the negotiations between the government and the WHO Health Cluster for Myanmar - the body that coordinates policies among different humanitarian groups and UN agencies in the country - that the Myanmar authorities are actively undermining the resumption of aid in Rakhine state.

Aid might yet return to Rakhine, but for many it is already too late. Noor Alam was a one-year-old boy who died on April 6 in the Ohn Taw Gyi camp near Sittwe.

"He woke up with diarrhoea one day, and was already dead the next night," he mother, Hadija Begun, tol Al Jazeera. "There was nothing we could do, as we haven't seen a doctor here for many days."

Now she worries that the same fate could await her three-year-old son, Sayed Noor, who, like many others in the camp, suffers the same condition as Noor Alam. Hadija said the cause of her children's illness is the shortage of drinkable water. This is an opinion shared by many others in the camp, and one of the concerns expressed by the UN , as the disruption of aid has coincided with the peak of the dry season.

Better conditions for others

Meanwhile, conditions look much better for Rakhine Buddhists in IDP camps such as Satyokyak, in the outskirts of Sittwe. The camp shelters 3,000 people living in houses built by the government. The houses, one for each family, have electricity and are elevated to avoid being flooded during the rainy season, in contrast to the dwellings for Rohingya IDPs.

Moreover, the Rakhine IDPs enjoy full freedom of movement and are allowed to go downtown to work, unlike the Rohingyas, who are confined to specific areas. And the Rakhines can go to the Sittwe General Hospital, where Rohingya have been refused treatment by Buddhist staff. There is also a clinic set up by the government in the camp.

According to U Tun Sein, a Rakhine Buddhist, the WFP used to provide a sack of rice for every family each month, but "the situation is the same since the INGOs left the state, we don't have any problem, because the INGOs didn't help us before anyway".

There is a widespread and long-standing perception among the local Buddhist population that humanitarian groups are biased in favour of the Rohingya. And declarations from government officials have done little to dispel such a belief.

Many of these organisations have denied accusations, saying that they provide aid according to the necessities of people regardless of ethnicity or religion, but since the outbreak of violence in June 2012, Rakhine organisations have held several demonstrations against foreign agencies operating in the state.

"We don't want aid from INGOs. They give very little to the Rakhine community and much to the Kalars [a derogatory term used to refer to Muslims and people of Indian origin in Myanmar]. We don't want any help from them," said U Tun Sein.

In any case, as U Tun Sein recognises in the Rakhine camp, "there are no cases of malnutrition in the camp or any important health issues here".

Source: Gears Up For Its Crowdfunding Donation Platform

Hoping to change crowdfunding as we know it, a new Vancouver-based platform is ready to take on the industry leaders Kickstarter and Indiegogo. is a crowdfunding website that charges entirely by donations and consider its practice to be "gifting forward" or "unconditional gifting."

 Buddhist and long-time campaigner for human's rights in Burma, Alan Clement noted his dreams about creating began in the late '70s. As quoted in, Clement clarified his view;

"It all came from my initial entry into Burma. It was born from the inspiration of seeing perfect strangers offer food, lodging, medicines, and essentially giving me everything I needed, eventually, as a monk."

He continued,

"When I went underground into the country and met with Aung San Suu Kyi and later out into the killing fields of northern Burma, I saw people who were giving their lives and giving their last morsels of food to friends and perfect strangers like me. That's how we came up with the crowdfunding platform that is driven exclusively by the concept of dāna. It all came down to what she [Suu Kyi] told me was the essence of spiritual revolution, which is the courage to care."

Alan ClementsMr. Clements noted that dāna is "the practice of generosity," and "io" as inflow and outflow.'s co-founder Scott Nelson revealed a more indepth version of the technical startup origins.

Mr. Clements revealed in his book he's currently working on that he has encountered numerous challenges with the crowdfunding campaign, including the other sites such as Indiegogo and PayPal that shut down campaigns that are in Burma. Mr. Nelson explained, "They have it on a government list of countries you're not supposed to do business with."'s biggest pro would be that it doesn't cost anything. According Kickstarter, it charges five percent to fundraisers of the total money raised plus three percent per pledge in payment process fees. Indiegogo also states it charges four percent or nine percent of total money raised, depending on the selected plan, a three percent professing fee per pledge, plus a $25 wire free on each donation made outside the United States. While it will remain free, users will be encouraged to "gift" up to 15 percent of the contributions it receives to keep the site running and provide a fund for future projects that will launch there.

"[] is really built on the pay-it-forward model," Mr. Clements explained. "We want to lower the threshold completely as much as possible for people, artists, authors, activists worldwide, to believe in their dream."

The crowdfunding platform is set to launch on May 14th. The projects that Mr. Clements is already excited about range from a movement for a GMO-free world to a law that projects for Laktota Indians peoples to support services for whistleblowers at the Hanford Nuclear Facility in Washington. 


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Comedy Actor Khin Hlaing & Group Enter Monkhood

# ဧျပီလ (၁၈) ရက္ေန႔က ရန္ကုန္၊ ေအာင္ဇမၺဴေတာရ ဓမၼရိပ္သာမွာ က်င္းပခဲ့တဲ့
ဟာသသ႐ုပ္ေဆာင္ ခင္လွဳိင္ ႏွင့္ အဖြဲ႔ ရဲ့ ရဟန္းခံအလွဴပြဲ #

Well-known comedy actor Khin Hlaing and his group entered into Monkhood at the Aung Zabu Tawya Dhamma Yeiktha in Yangon on April 18, 2014. Khin Hlaing and his family also made a donation to Monks at the monastery. (Photos by Wai Yan)

Original source: Myanmar Celebrity: Gossip, News, Video, Photo, Fashion, Entertainment


Lovely Family Photos of Nandar Hlaing & Zay Thiha

# သ႐ုပ္ေဆာင္ နႏၵာလွဳိင္ ႏွင့္ ေဇသီဟ တို႔ရဲ့ မိသားစု #

Former Actress Nandar Hlaing & Zay Thiha's Family Photos
Photos from Facebook.

Original source: Myanmar Celebrity Couples Photos