New forest law to be stricter

A new forest law will impose longer prison sentences – increasing current jail terms by two to five times for any crime related with wood smuggling.
The current forest law was regulated in 1992 and has been reviewed within the past few years, according to the Forest Department.
“Both the fine and prison sentence have been increased,” said an official of the department.

UWSA shows off local development for summit participants

The host organisation of a peace-building summit in Panghsan took participants on a tour of the Wa self-administered zone, including to new plantations that replaced poppy fields in Maingmaw Township.
The United Wa State Party/United Wa State Army hosted the conference of about 65 ethnic armed forces and observers May 1-6 and on Tuesday showed them as well as journalists advances in the region's development, including a tour of a coffee plantation at Gone Myin Mountain.

Peace talks planned in Yangon

Talks involving Myanmar's political parties, representatives of armed ethnic groups and national races affairs ministers are scheduled to take place Saturday at the Inya Lake Hotel in Yangon, sources say.

Aung Min, Union Peacemaking Works Committee (UPWC) vice-chairman, will explain the peace process and efforts to complete a nationwide ceasefire deal between the government and the armed ethnic groups, the sources say. The UPWC represents the government in peace talks.

Voters' lists complete in seven Rakhine State townships

Voters' lists are now complete in seven of 17 townships in Rakhine State, says Aung Mya, chairman of the local election sub-commission.

The Rakhine State Election Sub-Commission compiled eligible voters' names in the seven townships in Thandwe and Kyaukphyu districts in the southern part of Rakhine from March 19 to April 24. The compilation process in the remaining ten townships started on April 24.

Royal Rose Hospital’s trial postponed to May 14

The township court has postponed Royal Rose Hospital’s trial to May 14 as witnesses failed to appear in court on May 5, according to sources.
Hospital owner Tin Maung and his wife have been charged with the operation of an unlicensed hospital, and the acceptance of illegal Chinese citizens and the distribution of porn pamphlets for advertising. 

Japan says no to overpass proposal over high cost

The Japanese government has refused to give financial aid for the construction of the overpass with spiral ways as the project will cost over US$120 million, according to the Yangon regional government.

Next parliament session to prioritise education, interfaith issues and constitutional amendment

The upcoming parliament session will focus on the national education bill, bills to safeguard nationality and religion, as well as the constitutional amendment bill, announced Saw Hla Tun, secretary of the Joint Bill Committee of the Union parliament.

The regular session of the 12th parliament adjourned in April and will resume on May 11.

Chin State to launch social development programmes

YANGON: A five-year project for the children-based social welfare development programme will be launched in Chin State starting from 2016, according to UNICEF.
The project will be jointly handled by the UNICEF, Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development (MTTD) as well as the Danish government and will involve improving the health of the children and their mothers.

Ks 20 billion budget for traffic control

The Traffic Control Centre will be allotted a budget of Ks 20 billion (US$20 million) to remotely control the 65 most-crowded traffic intersections in Yangon, said Tin Maung Kyi, head of the Roads and Bridges Department of the Yangon City Development Committee.
According to experts, the traffic lights and management system of the city are too outdated to handle the city congestions.
To sort the problem out, the centre that can control all the traffic lights in the city will be established to manage the traffic jams from one place.

Plan to introduce free higher education system

The government plans to introduce free higher education system soon, said President Thein Sein during a meeting with outstanding students in Ngwe Saung Beach on April 5.