Yangon needs planning laws, say activists

The Association of Myanmar Architects (AMA), Yangon Heritage Trust and partner organisations have sent a letter to President Thein Sein, calling for work to tackle the city’s traffic woes, floods, shortage of parking and population density.

The letter says that Yangon sees unsystematic construction projects due to the lack of urban planning laws. The current bylaws that scrutinise the building standards are out of date, it says, and the city cannot cope with its population density. Floods, traffic jams and lack of parking are daily headaches for residents. 

New YCDC member demands basic services

A Ks 100 billion budget has been asked for the development of basic infrastructure in four Dagon Myothit townships, according to Htay Aung (Sakura), a newly elected member of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

The four townships still lack water supplies, electricity, roads and garbage collection. They face flooding during the wet season.

“I have to respond to the needs of people in the Yangon East District who elected me as an YCDC member. Four townships in Dagon Myothit are in urgent need of development,” he said.

10 ministries fall foul of accounts watchdog

The Parliament met representatives of 10 ministries, including information, which had their accounts rejected by the Office of the Auditor General.

The office examined the budget of the ministries from the 2013-14 financial year. 

Lower House MP Sai Thiha Kyaw of the Union Parliament’s Joint Committee for Public Accounts said: “We invited the ministries to discuss their budgetary spending. We questioned the Auditor General’s office about objections that we didn’t understand. Our committee will present the report to Parliament.” 

Jade seized on Muse road

A total of 18 smuggled jade stones, each weighing over a tonne and worth more than Ks 100 million (US$100,000), have been confiscated on the Mandalay-Muse road on January 4.

Timber and deer antlers were also captured last month with most of the merchandise going to China and Thailand, according to customs officials.

In four years, the inspection teams have confiscated goods worth Ks 6 billion, with jade and other gemstones totalling Ks 4 billion.

Farmers accused of trespassing

The deputy medical superintendent of Magway’s Medicine University filed a complaint against local farmers in Hsar Taing Kn and Dhahet Kan villages for trespassing on the university’s land with Magway Myoma police station on January 7.

About 200 acres of farmland in above villages were bought by the university at the price of Ks15,000 (about US$15) per acre in 2001 to build academic hospital and Medicine University (Magway).

More than 80 Chinese arrested for teak smuggling

More than 80 Chinese were arrested for smuggling timber in Waimaw in Kachin State and faced legal action in accordance with Myanmar existing laws. 

The alleged smugglers were rounded up in Washaung, Manwain, Sinikhu, Mandaung, Lawkhunyan and Sadon in Waimaw Township in Kachin State. About 19 Myanmar citizens were also arrested.

Solo protest against Sagaing chief minister

Than Htaik Oo staged a solo protest to oust the chief minister of Sagaing Region who is supposed to be responsible for the death of Khin Win in Letpadaungtaung copper mine during the clash with the police on December 23.

The solo demonstrator, after receiving an official permission from the local authorities, started his protest in front of the Bawa Alin Private Clinic in Tagaung Quarter and then proceeded to Myoma Market on January 8. After that he headed to the town hall and the township administrator’s office, shouting slogans against the chief minister.

Myanmar fruit prices falling in Muse

MUSE -- The prices of Myanmar fruits sold at the fruit market in 105th mile Trade Zone in Muse are decreasing because of poor quality, according an official at the trade zone.

“Last week, there were no buyers for golden musk melons. That’s why we decided to give away the melons free to schools and other places around the 105th mile trade zone. But during recent days, the prices are gradually increasing,” said the official from fruit wholesale centre in 105th mile trade zone.

Four bodies recovered in landslide search

Four bodies were recovered in the search following a landslide at a jade mine in Kachin State as of yesterday evening, according to Than Shwe, a local village leader.

Protesting workers demand wage increase

The workers from Yess candy factory and Myanmar York garment factory on January 6 staged protests demanding an increase in basic wages.

The workers said they staged the protests because they have not been given wage increases.

In December, 2014, more than 1,000 workers from the garment factory demonstrated demanding increase in wages.