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MFSWG to launch sufficiency of food programs in rural areas

YANGON – Myanmar Food Security Working Group (MFSWG) plans to open two food security centres in Kachin and Chin states the availability of sufficient food to rural people, said Dr Ohn Mar Khaing, a founder of the Food Security Cooperation team.

The two centres will be opened within the next six months.

Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University tests drones

Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University in Meikhtila has produced seven drones, which the university is now subjecting to trial runs.

Drones are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), which are aircrafts either controlled by pilots from the ground or autonomously following pre-programmed missions.

Irrigation project begins on farmland seized without compensation

Authorities have reportedly begun work on an irrigation project on land that was seized from farmers in Ottarithiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw District, without paying compensation. 

Some villagers say the construction of irrigation canals has started to irrigate about 400 acres of land near Phaung Laung Dam in the township. As a result, their farmlands included in the project area have been destroyed and uncompensated.

Nearly 20,000 affordable flats slated for next fiscal year

Nearly 20,000 new residential flats are slated to open in Yangon, Pathein and Mawlamyine in the 2015-16 fiscal year, according to Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development, Ministry of Construction.

The ministry plans to build ten housing projects comprised of 284 low-cost and affordable apartment buildings with a total of 18,360 flats.

Citizens must be alert as crime rate rise

In a society governed by the rule of law, ordinary people must enjoy the protection of their rights under the law, according to a paper published by the World Justice Project. Moreover, injustices they are facing must be addressed in a peaceful way by judicial bodies. In a society with a sound judicial system, government, political parties and influential people prevent the rights of ordinary people from being violated, the paper says.

Female activist sent to jail in Myanmar

A female activist has been sentenced to one month in jail for a prayer protest for the release of Phyu Hnin Htwe, a student activist who was previously imprisoned.

The activist Tin Mar Yee was given her prison sentence on January 7 by the Chanmyatharsi Township court in Mandalay Region, after being charged under Section 18 of the penal code for protesting without official permission.

Her case had been ongoing since last October.

Farmers fleeing Myitsone Dam face economic challenges

Farmers who fled their lands to make way for the Myitsone Dam project are now struggling to earn livelihoods.

According to the farmers, although homes, roads and access to electricity are available to them, there is no land for farming. They have to travel about ten miles from their village to do farming and cultivation.

Most of the people who have been forced to move oppose the Myitsone Dam project.

Special Rapporteur begins tour of Myanmar

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, launched her tour of Myanmar by visiting Insein prison in Yangon today.

She arrived in Yangon yesterday evening and will continue touring the country until January 16. This is her second tour of Myanmar; her first tour was in July 2014.

Her second tour will mainly focus on the human rights situations in Rakhine State and northern Shan State.

US$3.5 mn of illegal trade intercepted in 2014

The value of confiscated illegal merchandises topped Ks 3.5 billion (US$3.5 million) last year, with most cases taking place along border routs, according to the Customs Department.

During the nine months between April and December in the 2014-15 fiscal year, 298 containers, worth Ks 1.4 billion, were seized at airports and seaports, and 311 cases, worth Ks 2.1 billion, were seized in border areas. 

Aflatoxin B1 found in betel nuts

Researchers from the Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar) found Aflatoxin B1, which can cause liver cancer and genetic mutation, in betel nuts, also known as areca nuts, which many people in Myanmar chew with tobacco and betel leaves.

Aflatoxin B1 is an aflatoxin produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus found in tropical regions.