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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. 

Proposal to help farmers obtain loans

A proposal to designate a bank that will offer long-term agricultural loans to farmers has been submitted to the parliament, MP Myint Oo told the Daily Eleven.

During the tenure of the current government, the loan disbursement to farmers has been increased to Ks 100,000 from Ks 40,000. But it cannot be said that this move would raise the livelihood of the farmers up, said Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann at the mass meeting with local farmers.

No need to show car parking’s recommendation

YANGON -- Starting from yesterday (January 7), the car import applicants holding old car slips of 2014 do not need to show the recommendation of car parking, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Michaungkan protesters charged with various Sections

YANGON -- Kyaukdata Court yesterday held a second trial of 14 Michaungkan protesters who face charges of illegally opening 11-day protest camp in front of Yangon City hall on December 12 including Section 18.

At yesterday’s trial, three plaintiff witnesses including Police Deputy Superintendent Tin Hla, testified against the protesters.

Ayeyawaddy water Level declining

The water level in Ayeyawaddy River has been declining earlier and faster than last year with water level in Mandalay recording lower than 3.7 meters (12 feet), according to Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems.

Analysts say high-interest bank loans from WB and ADB pose risk to enterprises

Businesses in Myanmar are borrowing money from World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) at an interest rate of six per cent, which will pose a risk to them if the currency exchange rate changes, said analysts at the Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA).
The analysts gave a talk at office of the auditor general in Yangon on the topic of Foreign Exchange Management laws and by-laws last month. During the talk, a member of MICPA the high rate at which Myanmar businesses are borrowing from the WB and ADB.

Efforts to develop coal-fired power plants violate NEP

The construction of coal-fired power plants by the Ministry of Electric Power violates the national energy policy (NEP), said Aung Myint, secretary of the Renewable Energy Association Myanmar (REAM).

Findings on death of Letpadaungtaung farmer under review

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is reviewing its findings on the death of a farmer during a protest at the Letpadaungtaung copper mine in Sagaing Region. The commission will release a report about the incident within days, said Sit Myaing, vice-chairperson of the NHRC.