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Early monsoon batters most of country

Early monsoon rains have broken records across the country with the authorities warning that heavier weather lay ahead.

The southwest monsoon hit Myanmar on May 7 and reached the delta areas in May 20. Low pressure in the Bay of Bengal reinforced the monsoon, bringing more rainfall to lower parts of Myanmar.

Rainfall in Nawnghkio, Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin and Sagaing broke records.

Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Bago and Tanintharyi regions and Rakhine, Kayin and Mon state experienced heavy rainfall.

Korea to aid schools and farmers

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will assist Myanmar develop four sectors, including education, through a five-year project running until 2019, according to an official from the organisation.

The other sectors are agriculture, human resources and rural development.

“The KOICA will advice on education with the construction of school buildings and teaching systems as well as on other necessary facts,” the official said.

Yangon flood defences fail

Monsoon rains have lashed Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Tanintharyi and Bago regions and Rakhine, Kayin and Mon states with efforts to ease the problem in the former capital having limited effect.

The forecast for Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal is partly cloudy to cloudy, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH).

Master plan to tackle Yangon’s floods

The drafting of a master plan to deal with Yangon’s flooding problems in the rainy season has been completed, according to the roads and bridges department of Yangon City Development Committee. 

Since 2014, the YCDC has been drafting a plan for flood preventive measures in six Yangon townships: Kyauktada, Pabedan, Latha, Lanmadaw, Botataung and Pazundaung.  

Pathein lecturer jailed for three months

A lecturer from Pathein Technological University involved in the student protests has been sentence by Pathein Township court to three months in prison with hard labour after a ninth court appearance.

700 ‘corrupt’ forestry officials targeted

The government is taking action against 700 employees from the forestry department to tackle timber smuggling, according to Zaw Win, deputy director general of the department.

“The department dismissed more than 2,000 employees under this administration. More than 700 employees are facing action in connection with timber smuggling,” he said.

Anyone found guilty of corruption would face dismissal and indictment, the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry official said.

Airlines rely on Myanmar customers

Domestic airlines mainly depend on Myanmar travellers as tourist arrivals decline during the rainy season, sources say.

Myanmar has 10 airlines competing to attract customers with cheaper tickets.

Asian Wings started linking Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw this month.

208 refugees taken to Rakhine: MOI

The Ministry of Information has said more than 200 Bangladeshi refugees arrested in Myanmar waters on May 21 have been taken to a temporary camp in Rakhine State.

In a statement, the ministry said naval vessel no.568 found two boats west of Thinbawkway village in Maungdaw Township while on patrol. More than 200 Bangladeshi refugees were crowded on one of the boats. They handed the refugees to the authorities at Angumaw village on May 22.

Forestry boss blames smuggling on Chinese inaction

Timber smuggling has increased under the current administration because of a lack of cooperation with the Chinese and Myanmar’s corruption, says Zaw Win, deputy director general of the forestry department.

Zaw Win told the media at the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry that bribery among high-ranking officials was common. 

Torrent rips out Shwebo bridge

Torrential rain has destroyed houses and a bridge in Shwebo, in Sagaing Region, residents say.

Two houses on the bank of the Ayeyarwady River were damaged and one was partially washed away by the currents, locals said.

"A bridge over the Kyaukanwar, a tributary that flows into the Ayeyarwady, collapsed with the strong current. Two houses had to be demolished as one of them was partially washed away," said Maung Zaw, a local resident.