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Suu Kyi European Tour – Credit Reuters

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Suu Kyi’s Resumes European Tour Despite Brief Sickness

Posted on 15 June 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Suu Kyi’s historic European tour has resumed after a brief illness spell due to intense traveling and the inability to rest well during her trip. The Nobel Price laureate fell sick in Switzerland while she was attending a news conference. One of the officials in Yangon reported that there’s a concern over Suu Kyi’s health given her travel schedule and the amount of meetings scheduled. Suu Kyi who is 66 years old is known to suffer from low blood pressure and ease of getting exhausted. However, her condition is stable now and she has decided to resume her European tour that marks a significant step in her political career.

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myanmar currency

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Average Monthly Wage to Increase in Myanmar for Government Officials and Private Corporations

Posted on 15 June 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Yangon, Myanmar. Average monthly wages in Myanmar are raising slightly especially if you are a government official. The latest announcement from the current Myanmar government states that, all government officials will have an allowance in addition to their regular salary. All government officials including Army officers and soldiers will have 30,000 Kyats ($36 USD) as a grant together with their regular month salary.  With the new grant policy, it is only for the officials who are currently working inside the country but those who are currently studying abroad as a government scholar will not be included, Modern News Journal reported. For workers on daily wages, who are currently paid 1,100 Kyats ($1.3 US Dollar) per day, will get extra 1,000 Kyats, so that they will get 2,100 Kyats in total which will be about 2.5 US Dollar per day.

Pyi Thu Hlutaw (public parliament), Hlutaw chairman, Thura U Shwe Mann initiated the matter concerning with the raising pay scale for all government officials.  But his statement was rejected by the finance minister in Hlutaw but Thura U Shwe Mann told at his press conference with the local media that he will try his best for the government officials to get more pay.

At President U Thein Seinn’s first year anniversary of presidency speech, he also stated that only 3.3 percent of the total population is government officials, so government needs to consider for the remaining 96.7 percent of people.  If government raises the pay scale of government officials, commodity prices will also rise up and the remaining 96.7 percent will be affected. However, he also stated that government will try its best for the government officials. According to his words, even though government officials’ pay did not rise up, they are now going to get extra 30,000 Kyats as a grant for every month.

Retired professor, Daw Ye Ye Myint from University of Economyexpress her opinion that, “It is not an easy decision for the president.  He made this uneasy decision by considering the best for all Myanmar people.”  “If government reinforce in production of the basic food such as rice, oil, meat and fish, they can control the commodity prices.” She added.

As government will provide extra grants for the government officials, there is some dissatisfaction among private company staff when it comes to average monthly wage in Myanmar.  Some companies are also thinking about raising the average pay scale for their staff.  A fashion store owner told that “as government provides allowance for the officials, we have no choice but to raise up the average monthly salary of our staff.”

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Myanmar violance declared a state of emergency

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Myanmar Declares State of Emergency in Western State After Fierce Mob Violence

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Yangon, Myanmar: Thein Sein, Myanmar’s President has declared a state of emergency in the Western Myanmar as tensions between Muslim and Buddhists groups mount to deadly violence.  Given Myanmar dramatic reform in the last few years, this can be detrimental to country’s reputation. This is the first time that a state of emergency has been declared since U Thein Sein has taken office. A state of emergency allows for the military to take control of the Rakhine State, a neighboring state to Bangladesh. The fierce fighting started in the town of Maungdaw and then quickly became evident in Sittwe, the state’ capital and near by villages. Given the latest developments and the inability to resolve the ongoing violent conflict in this Western part of Myanmar, UN has decided to evacuate staff. The country’s reputation for gaining political democracy and foreign investment now rests on shaking grounds.

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myanmar presidential speech

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Myanmar President U Thein Sein Requests Every One to Participate in Political Reform

Posted on 08 April 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Yangon, Myanmar: Early March, President U Thein Sein provided a speech on his first year anniversary of presidency in Myanmar. The current Myanmar’s President said “in one year time, we have achieved some of our goals with regards to democracy and we also had challenges.” He also said that it is really good that Myanmar and its government had gained understandings from neighboring and other countries, and therefore will continue to built trust among its people and globally.

“If someone asks me whether we have gained a real democracy? I should answer we have to try more.  We are going to take many steps in our way to democracy. This is a long term project for the people of Myanmar.” U Thein Sein spoke in his speech. He also stated that government will try to negotiate between natives of the country to form unity as it is the desire of each and every person of Myanmar.  Political reform in which president is welcoming every person to participate; he also wants the natives of Myanmar to participate in this reform.  “As our country is a union, all natives of our country should have equal rights. Government should achieve peoples’ dream of peace and development. We should end the never ending misunderstandings which had happened for many generations with this civilian government.”  said by U Thein Sein in his speech.

“I have made up my mind.  I will to my best ease people’ minds of worries with this government.  This is also the aim of our government. We have our duties to fulfill the long lost dreams of our people.” He added.  He also stated about civil war which is currently happening in Kachin State.  He also said that “as we all need peace and to stand firm in peace with dignity, I urge every citizen to participate.”

“With the young men who are currently holding guns, we will try our best to let them hold laptops instead of guns in their hands, we all must try our best from our own parts.  Here, we will warmly welcome local and international aids and investments to fulfill the needs of our country.”  He added. U Thein Sein also refuted the rumor that current government is splitting in 2 groups.  “As we are practicing democracy, they only work in their perspectives. It is not true that we are working in our own groups.” He also stated his decision upon current affair concerning with raising pay scale for the government officials.  He said, “Just over 3 percent of citizens are government officials and we need to take care with the remaining 96 percents.  Commodity prices will also raise up if we increase the pay scale and we need to consider for the living of remaining 96 percent.”  He stated in his speech.

President U Thein Sein provided this speech for about 50 minutes and this is the first ever speech civilian government lets the people know about their tasks and future plans after the military junta had their power handed over to them.

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Yangon, Myanmar

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Japan Offers Development Loan to Myanmar

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar: For the first time in 25 years, Japan will provide a development loan to Myanmar. The loan is mainly for the development of the ports, railways and other transportation and also for the basic housing projects for the general citizens of Myanmar.  The Myanmar Post News Journal reported that media from Japan expects that the contract of loan for the above mentioned projects can be dealt in the summit conference which will be held in April 2012.

Concerning with this loan from Japan, U Nay Zinn Latt, a counsellor of president U Thein Seinn, told The Myanmar Post News Journal that “Our Country wasn’t regarded as a normal country for the past decades.  Myanmar had been oppressed by sanctions from various countries. Nevertheless, now all most all countries are now treating Myanmar fairly and it is a sign that our country has been brought back to be a normal country again. Now Japan and Norway have also released some restrictions just like most of the countries have.  So once we are getting help from various countries, international investments will also start to pour in.”

Japan officially stopped providing loans to Myanmar since 1980, The Myanmar Post News journal stated in its issue which was published on last Monday, February 27th.  It also stated even though Japan has been  providing some support for the social works with consideration and emergency aids such as aids for the cyclone Nargis since 2003, Japan did not provide any support concerning business development for Myanmar. With some improvements made by the civilian government and because of the democratic progress shown by Myanmar,Japan has decided to open up its financial aid Myanmar government again.  If both ends from Japan-Myanmar can make a successful deal regarding this, it’ll be a good step in moving forward for Myanmar as a country and its citizens.

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thura u shwe man – credit weekly eleven

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New Developments on Governmental Pay Scale and Commodity Prices in Myanmar

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar: Pyithu Hlutaw’s (Public Parliament) Investigating Commission concerning with rules, regulations and other speciality matters, formed by 46 professionals from various industries held a press conference on 22nd February.  It was held in the parliament house located onPyay Road,Yangon. Professionals from various industries and many reporters and journalists attended the conference.  They discussed matters such as raising pay scale of government staff and also about controlling commodity prices.

Pyi Thu Hlutaw Chairman, Thura U Shwe Man, said to the media that he will try his best to raise the pay scale of appropriate individuals.  He also said that salary of a government staff should be at least 100,000 Kyats (about US 122 US dollar).  Currently, low level staffs are earning about 40,000 Kyats (about 50 US dollar) which is frankly not enough for a living.  That is the reason why those government personnel are trying to get illegal jobs during working hours to earn a living.

Thura U Shwe Man, Pyi Thu Hlutaw chirman, told that he also had some criticisms concerning with his statement about raising pay scale.  “I have heard some bad criticisms about my statement.  I am surprised that government newspaper censored my speech which I made in Hlutaw (parliament).  I don’t know whether they did it for my own good or not” stated Thura U Shwe Man on a press conference.  “You can give comments upon this matter, we are now practicing democracy and you don’t need to be closed in anymore.” he added. He also responded to one of the questions from a reporter, “No, I am not doing this [statement] to persuade votes from public for our party, Union Solidarity and Development party.  I think it is really necessary for the citizens and I am doing it [statement] for the development of our country and citizens.”

U Phae Myint, an editor of Pyi Thu Khit News Journal, asked “I am sorry to hear that your speech was censored by ministry of information.  I would like to ask you if it is legal to censor a Hlutaw Chairman’s speech by country management.  We are facing censorship everywhere.  Even a Hlutaw chairman’s speech was censored in government newspaper.  So where are our rights?  Where is the media freedom?”  Thura U Shwe Man responded to U Phae Myint’s question with “You all [media] have previous experiences, I think the answer is already in your heart.”

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Myanmar media

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When Will Myanmar Get Media Freedom?

Posted on 20 February 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar: When shall we get media freedom? It was asked by Chief Editor of Weekly Eleven News Journal, a well known newspaper inMyanmar, to his audience on Journal’s official website.  Even thoughMyanmarcivilian government has lifted some restrictions upon media, he said it is totally different from international media freedom, as it was written on Weekly Eleven Journal’s website on 19th February.

His statement emerged after U Tin Maung Oo, Pyi Thu Hlutaw (parliament) representative from Union Solidarity and Development Party, an opposition party to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, raised questions by accusing that current media fromMyanmarare writing in one sided form.  He insinuated that journalists and reporters are praising too much upon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s works.

U Tin Maung Oo also stated thatMyanmarneeds media which will support the development of the country and pointed out that more numbers of high quality young reporters are needed.  U Soe Min, vice minister of Minstry of Information, requited to U Tin Maung Oo’s statement with “We are analysing the media whether they are written in one sided form and also trying our best to bar them from Myanmar media society.  It is ture that we need editors, journalists, reporters who can take responsibilities with their job done.  We also plan to establish ‘Press Council’ which will monitor media which are currently publishing nationwide.”

“I am surprised that we are still facing censorship.” told by Ko Wai Phyo, chief editor of Weekly Eleven News Journal.  “We still don’t have private newspaper and only some privileged business owners who have personal relationship with government officials have rights to operate Electronic Media.  We still don’t have complete freedom in media”, he uttered in disappointment.  In his blog post, he wrote that he will put objection if government prescribes the rule to control over the media freedom.  “On behalf of Eleven Media Group, we will announce our intention upon the upcoming media rule.” He stated in his blog post.  “To make Myanmara country practicing real democracy, we suppose other journals and media group will join together with us in our objection.” He added.

Reporters who were reporting at the time U Tin Maung Oo put that statement in parliament were angry with his statement and said there are many other important issues such as finance or rules and regulation rather than reporters and media.

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Myanmar tax law on water supply rate increase

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Myanmar Tax Law: Water Supply Tax Rate To Increase

Posted on 11 February 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar tax law – Yangon Development Committee provided a statement last Thursday that they will raise tax rate concerning water supply which will start to take effects on 1st of April 2012. April is the start of 2012/2013 financial year and this statement was made known at a private meeting between superintendent of Yangon Development Comittee’s engineering department, U Soe Myaing, and media journalists.

“Currently, the government is spending 47 Pyars (cents) per gallon and charges 25 Pyars to the home owners and 35 Pyars to the businesses and factories.  Government is providing water supply with a loss.” He said on a meeting with media journalists which was held at his office.

“But on the bill, charges are calculated with a unit based on gallon. One unit is equivalent with 220 gallons and currently home owners need to pay only 55 Kyats per unit and 77 Kyats for the business and factories owners.” He said.  “Those rates are calculated based on 800 Kyats per
1 US dollar” He added.

The new rate will be 40 Pyars per gallon for home owners and 50 Pyars for the business and factories owners.  So it will be 88 Kyats per unit for home owners and 110 Kyats for business and factories owners. It is about 10 cents and 14 cents respectively. Until July 2005, it was 3 Pyars per gallon and rose to 25 Pyars for home owners and 35 Pyars for business and factories owners in August.  Since then, the rate remains unchanged.

Moreover, every home, business and factories will be required to install metering gauge for the exact measurement of water usage.  Currently Yangon Development Comittee installed metering gauges at some premises but some are still paying the fix rate. Yangon Development Comittee
started to install metering gauge 7 or 8 years ago, but some premises still do not have metering gauge for many reasons.  But now, Yangon Development Comittee has stated again that every home, business or factory need to have a metering gauge.

Regarding the statement made by Yangon Development Comittee, they are providing water to the city from 5 sources and citizens from Yangon are consuming 160 million gallons per day. Even though the committee is distributing160 gallons per day, it is still not enough for the city dwellers. As the committee is distributing water supply only at certain time of the day, Myanmar citizens usually need to wake up at midnight or early in the morning to pump the water into their home water tank.


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