China moves to revive dam project

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin announced that the Myitsone dam was an "important cooperation project" and therefore China would be looking at various means to restart the scheme.

“It is an important cooperation project to implement between two countries. In 2011, Myanmar postponed it but the contract is still valid. Cooperation is important for both countries. When the new government takes office, the Chinese government will continue to discuss ways to restart the project,” said Liu Zhenmin.

NLD reassures government staff

National League for Democracy’s spokesman Dr Zaw Myint Maung announced that civil servants should not be worried about their jobs when about 10 ministries are axed.

Although government staff knew ministries would be reshuffled, their concern became greater when President-Elect Htin Kyaw submitted the list of 21 ministries to Parliament if the list did not include their ministries.

Rebel armies welcome Htin Kyaw

Three ethnic armed groups jointly released a statement on March 18 to welcome the next president, Htin Kyaw, and his National League for Democracy government.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army said they were ready to collaborate with the new government to end civil wars in the country, bring national peace and “genuine” political dialogue.

Minister guarantees overpass safety

The public need not worry about the durability of Yangon's overpasses as experts make regular inspections, Kyaw Soe, Yangon regional minister for construction, forestry and energy, said on March 18.

A photo showing a crack on the 8 Mile overpass went viral online after a soft opening on March 15. It has drawn criticism over the quality of the construction.

“A construction worker circulated an old photo of the 8 Mile overpass as he was dissatisfied with his dismissal,” Kyaw Soe said.

Sudden jump in amount of taxes paid by businesses

According to official reports from the Internal Revenue Department, the rate of companies paying  taxes has increased.

In the 1000 member list for 2014-2015 income tax and trade tax, Kanbawza Bank and Denko Trading lead the charts by paying over Ks 20 billion in income taxes and under Ks 10 billion in trade taxes respectively.

Jailed students start court boycott

Detained students have started boycotting the justice system, announced Phyoe Phyoe Aung, one of the student leaders, after a court hearing.

Other leaders of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (Ba-Ka-Tha), Kyaw Ko Ko, Nanda Sit Aung, Lin Htet Naing and Min Thway Thit and activist Win Kyawt Hmu, appeared at Kamayut court on March 17 to face charges from Hlaing Township police.

Chinese timber smuggling remains rampant

The smuggling of timber into China is continuing in Kachin and Shan states, truck drivers and people from Bhamo District, Kachin State, told the Daily Eleven.  

Smuggling reportedly resumed last month, and thousands of logs that were left stranded in Oaukchaung, Bhamo, due to fighting between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), were taken to China. The smuggling had increased this month, said residents.

Hpakant villagers fear landslides

An Hpakant hilltop village is facing a possible landslide because a jade mining company is working right below it using powerful dynamite.

About 50 households in the village named “Malong” are in danger as they are close to a 400-feet cliff, where the mining company is working.

The village recently encountered landslides and about 20 households were compensated to move away.

Aung San Suu Kyi leads parliamentary development

According to reports, chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi will also take on the responsibility of being the chairperson of the parliamentary development group.

The group, formed recently on 10 March, will also consist of MP Phyo Zaw Yar Thaw as the secretary and M Dr Than Ngway, Mp Sai Htun Sein, Mp Wint Wah Htun, Director of Union Parliament office Kyaw Soe, Director of Upper House office Kyi Min and temporary director of Lower House office Tin Win Aung.

Cracked 8-mile junction closed

The authorities repaired a crack at the 8-mile junction flyover overnight after concerns about safety filled social media.

“I saw photos of it on Facebook. It should not happen as it cost billions of kyat. I doubt it is safe,” said Myo Kyaw Soe from Thaketa Township.