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Thailand detains 51 migrant workers related to drug case

Thai police detained 51 Myanmar migrant workers in connection with a drug case in Mae Sot on March 22.

ABC Asian News quoted a Thai official saying that coalition forces of the Thai army and police received a tip-off about drug and human trafficking incidents in Mae Sot.

A total of 51 Myanmar migrant workers, 18 males and 33 females, were detained as they had no official documents.

Authorities seized drugs from a Myanmar migrant worker named Thar Thar.

1,000 buses ordered from China

Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) has ordered 1,000 buses, costing US$56,000 each, from China to be used by the Yangon Bus Service (YBS), Dr Maung Aung, secretary of the YRTA said.

The ordered buses will arrive in Myanmar at the end of April. Another 2,000 buses will be ordered from China after the arrival of the first batch, Dr Maung Aung said.

Kachin tribes demand clarity

The Ethnic Affairs Committee reported on March 22 to the Kachin State parliament that minority rights are undermined because of the inaccurate tribal list.

A 1955 edict stated that there were six so-called "sub-tribal" Kachin groups, Jingphaw, Aze, Lashi (also known as Lachik), Maru (also known as Law-Wow, Khanon) Rawang and Rawyin (also known as Lishaw and Lisu).

The committee said that in the 2014 National Census, 12 sub-groups were listed for Kachin State.

Man gets 20 years for sex with child

The man who had sex with a girl he groomed on Facebook has been sentenced by Yangon East District Court to 20 years in prison with hard labour.

On May 11 last year, the victim's mother, from Thingangyun Township, alleged that Naing Min Ko, 32, took her 15-year-old daughter to a guest house in his township of Thanlyin and had sex with her two times.

Thuwunna police prosecuted the man.

Timber smugglers use Rakhine and Mon

The authorities are monitoring possible timber smuggling routes as ports in Rakhine and Mon states are being used, according to sources from the Forestry Department.

Land routes to China recently lost out to Yangon's docks but a crackdown has forced smugglers to look for alternative routes.

"As we blocked the route in Yangon, they have turned to ports in Rakhine and Mon states. Monitoring is also being carried out in Kayin State," said an official from the department.

Minister calls for jobs for female refugees

Women fleeing armed conflict need job opportunities, minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye has told a press conference.

Clothing factories could provide work, enable women to become independent and boost development, in line with government policies, the minister said.

2,000-tonnes of logs seized in 3 months

Government troops seized over 2,000 tonnes of smuggled logs in three months in Shan and Kachin states, according to the commander-in-chief’s office.

Hardwood such as teak, tamalan and padauk was among the confiscated timber. Soldiers also seized 23 vehicles, seven machines used in sawing lumber and three generators in two separate raids this month in Mabein Township, Shan State. No suspect was arrested.

Authorities failing to address complaints: report

The way the authorities are dealing with public complaints is unsatisfactory, according to the Upper House Committee for Public Complaints.

The committee submitted a report to Parliament yesterday saying that the complaints lodged by the public were sent to ministries, the Supreme Court, Attorney General's Office and regional governments so that they could deal with them as necessary. However, few cases were sent back to the Upper House Speaker reporting how they were handled. Government bodies were still failing to handle complaints, it said.

Minority rights law to be finalised

The Ministry of National Races Affairs says it is working on completing the National Races Rights Protection Law this year.

Inhtone Naw San, secretary of the Lower House Peace Implementation Committee, said: “Our committee was invited to discuss the law and wants our advice. The ministry wants it completed.”

The committee reports to the Parliament when a law need abolishing, amending and enacting, and monitors whether it complies with other legislation.

Science equipment needed in schools: study

The government should provide basic education schools with urgently needed science teaching equipment, according to a report by the Upper House Education Promotion Committee.

Middle-level pupils' dropout rates were high due to poverty, it said. School heads and the School Board of Trustees were working to lessen the misappropriation of school funds. The report argued that there should be greater transparency in the formation of school boards and they should not be under the influence of school heads.