Monthly Archives: March 2016




Outgoing President U Thein Sein hands over insignia of the presidency to incoming President U Htin Kyaw at the ceremony to hand over the duties of presidency. Photo: MNA

President U Htin Kyaw took his oath of office at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw yesterday. Afterward, he delivered the inaugural speech in which he said his government will strive to amend the current constitution, which was passed in the referendum in 2008.
“I am responsible for the emergence of a constitution that will be in accord with the democratic norms suited to our country. I am also aware that I need to be patient in realising this political objective, for which the people have long aspired,” said the president.
He said his government will seek to implement four policies: national reconciliation; internal peace; the emergence of a constitution that will produce a democratic, federal union; and the improvement of the quality of life of the majority of the people.
Following the swearing-in ceremony at the parliament, a ceremony marking the handover of presidential duties from outgoing President U Thein Sein to incoming President U Htin Kyaw was held at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw.
During the ceremony, President U Thein Sein presented his successor with official documents, a gold sash and a presidential insignia. After the ceremony, outgoing President U Thein Sein cordially greeted incoming President U Htin Kyaw. The two vice presidents, U Myint Swe and U Henry Van Thio, were also sworn in at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw yesterday.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the ruling National League for Democracy, was also sworn in yesterday together with other Union ministers and officials.
Suu Kyi will lead four ministries: foreign affairs, education, electric & energy and the President’s Office.
Mahn Jonny, the new chief minister of Ayeyawady Region, told reporters that the NLD-led government is ready to work in the interests of the people. He added that he will work to strengthen the rule of law as a priority.—GNLM

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

AccorHotels plans six new properties in Myanmar


A car leaves Accor’s Yangon Novotel hotel. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar TimesA car leaves Accor’s Yangon Novotel hotel. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar Times

This would take its Myanmar portfolio to nine hotels, demonstrating considerable confidence in the future of the country’s nascent tourism industry.

The Ministry of Tourism targets 6 million international visitors to Myanmar this year, including day-trippers and traders crossing the country’s land borders.

“We anticipate strong demand for midscale and upscale accommodation with international service standards given the country’s fast growth and its continued increase in international visitors,” Victor Pang, vice president of development for AccorHotels in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, told The Myanmar Times on March 24.

“Additionally, Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake and Muse are key destinations for both domestic and international travellers.”

Muse – which borders Ruili in Yunnan province – is Myanmar’s biggest border post for trade with China.

First to be built will be the 160-room Ibis Styles Yangon Stadium hotel later this year, followed next year by the Pullman Mandalay Mingalar with 356 rooms and the 100-room MGallery Inle Lake Myat Min.

In 2018 the Ibis Styles Mandalay Centre will open with 268 rooms, and the Ibis Styles Muse will open with 200 rooms. The 300-room Pullman Yangon Myat Min will open in 2019.

AccorHotels operates and manages hotels under various brands, including Sofitel Legend, Sofitel, SO Sofitel, MGallery and others in 92 countries, said Mr Pang.

Since returning to Myanmar in 2013, the company has opened the Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw, Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min and Novotel Yangon Max.

Source : Myanmar Times

Viet Nam’s Viettel becomes 4th JV telecom operator in Myanmar

Viet Nam-based Viettel was chosen as fourth telecom operator with joint venture system with 11 local public companies and Star Height Public Co Ltd, announced today by Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Viettal owns 49 per cent of the stakes while a group of local public companies shares make a total of 51 per cent.

With an initial investment of US$300 million,  the fourth telecom operator would operate 2G and 3GNetworks.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

U Pein bridge repair set to begin soon

DSC_1405-copy-1U Pein Bridge in Mandalay.

RENOVATIONS of the U Pein Bridge, a more than 160-year-old tourist attraction in Mandalay, will begin soon, said an official from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum.
The bridge will be renovated by the Myanmar Teak Wood Company under the supervision of the Mandalay Region government and the Department of Archaeology and National Museum, said Director U Nyo Myint Tun of the department.
“Renovation works will be carried out in accord with suggestions by historians, experts and local people,” added the director.
The renovation works include replacement of decayed teak pillars with new ones and installing wooden bridge guardrail in original form and minor repairs.  The bridge with 1,086 pillars is 3,967 feet long.
According to sources, the regional government spent K13.4 million on bridge repairs over the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Aung Thant Khaing

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Top priority given to Mt. Khakaborazi for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

AMONG Myanmar’s bid for seven places to be inscribed on the list of World Heritage Site, Mount Khakaborazi is given top priority to win UNESCO’s recognition, according to the UNESCO’s national project coordinator.
The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry is conducting surveys on the biodiversity of Mt. Khakaborazi and its adjacent areas in cooperation with UNESCO, said Daw Ohnmar Myo, national project coordinator of UNESCO.
Located in Putao of Kachin State in northern Myanmar, Mt. Khakaborazi is the highest peak in Southeast Asia with estimated 19,296 feet in height.
The mountain was first ascended in 1996 by Takashi Ozaki, a Japanese mountaineer, and Nyama Gyaltsen, a local.
A team of mountaineers from Nature’s Call Foundation, University Hiking and Mountaineering Association scaled the mountain and the two climbers conquered Mt. Khakaborazi.
Six others in the world heritage tentative list are Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary, Ayeyawady Dolphin, Nat Ma Taung (Mt. Victoria), Taninthayi nature reserve, Inndawgyi Lake and Myeik Archipelago.
The national project coordinator stressed the need for cooperation between officials concerned and local people to ensure the seven nominations qualified for inclusion on the list of world heritage.
In Myanmar, three ancient cities—Thayekhittaya near Pyay, Beikthano near Taungdwingyi and Hanlin near Shwebo— had been designated as world heritage sites.
The Ministry of Culture and organisations concerned are trying to get the Bagan archaeological area and monuments to be listed as a World Heritage site.

Ko Moe
Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

President formally opens new lounge at Yangon Airport


The newly-opened lounge of Yangon International Airport is seen on inaugural day.

PRESIDENT U Thein Sein unveiled a bronze plaque to mark the opening of a new lounge at the Yangon International Airport in Mingaladon township on 12th March 2016.
Present at the opening ceremony were Union Ministers U Soe Thane, U Myint Hlaing, U Nyan Tun Aung, U Khin Maung Soe, U Zeya Aung, U Htay Aung and U Ye Htut, including Yangon Region Chief Minister U Myint Swe, high-ranking officials and diplomats.
The airport was constructed in 1952, Union Minister U Nyan Tun Aung recounted, adding that the then President Dr Ba Oo put it into service on 8 January 1957.
“The airport was recognised as a regional hub in Southeast Asia,” he said. The facility underwent an expansion in 1994 in a bid to cater for growing numbers of foreign and domestic passengers after 1988. A two-storey building was constructed and opened on 18 September 1996. Another expansion started in 2004, including the construction of a building, a parking lot and a terminal equipped with four passenger boarding bridges of international standard.
As part of encouraging private-sector participation in line with the political, economic and executive reforms, the government invited tenders for a project to extend and renovate the airport on 26 February 2013, with the union minister saying that Yangon Aerodrome Services Co Ltd won the tender and signed a concession agreement for the works with the Department of Civil Aviation on 6 January 2015.
The newly-opened lounge is a five-storey building with 240 metres in length and 97.7 metres in width and is expected to facilitate the airport’s capacity to ensure the smooth flow of passengers projected to exceed 6,000,000 by 2017.
The airport saw a surge in the number of foreign and domestic passengers from 4,394,815 in 2014 to 5,054,037 in 2015. The Department of Civil Aviation entered agreement with Yangon Aerodrome Co Ltd on 7 December 2015 for an additional three-phase project to serve 20 million passengers a year.
Currently, the Yangon International Airport handles 11 domestic airlines and 28 international airlines.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Yangon Railway Station Complex Project to launch in May next year


Artist’s impression of the Yangon Railway Station Yard. Photo: Aye Min Soe

THE Yangon Central Railway Station comprehensive development project is expected to launch in May, 2017, according to an announcement from Myanma Railways (MR).
MR will finalise the selection of winners for the project in May, said U Tun Aung Thin, General Manager of Myanma Railways (Lower Myanmar).
Fifteen companies including five from Myanmar, two from Singapore, two joint-venture companies with the US, two from Korea and three from China sent Expression of Interest (EoI) for the project when MR invited the tender for the second time in July last year.
For the first time, Myanma Railways invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) in April, 2014, for the project that is to be implemented over more than 62 acres of Myanma Railways land and urged local and international or joint venture developers/investors to undertake design-and-build work for the project after one month.
Investment in the Yangon Central Railway Station area comprehensive development project will reach US$2-2.5 billion, according to the announcement in April, 2015.
According to sources, the area where Yangon Central Railway Station area comprehensive development is sited is not included in the restricted area of high-rise buildings in which the height of buildings are restricted to 470 metres above the sea level.
So far, the Resettlement Action Plan and the Conceptual Plan for the project have already been drawn, according to MR sources.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Relaxation of restriction brings more tourists to Kawthoung

CROWDS of tourists are flocking to Kawthoung, Taninthayi Region, during the peak season for tourism in Myanmar after restrictions on sightseeing boat tours around the Myeik Archipelago were relaxed, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
According to the ministry, Kawthoung welcomed 270,573 foreign visitors and received 3,248 tourists on yacht trips during the period from January to December 2015.
Myeik Archipelago, which includes 803 islands, is one of major tourist attractions in Myanmar, offering activities such as underwater diving, sailing, canoeing, bird watching, exploring Salon culture, mangrove sightseeing and forest treks.
Arrivals of tourists through sailing trips have also increased, with 713 visitors arriving this January, including 12 yachts carrying 92 tourists on 30 January, said the ministry.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Tourist arrivals up in Mandalay

722222222Tourists being seen taking the photos of a pagoda. Photo: Thiha Ko Ko

FROM the beginning of 2016, tourist arrivals have been on the rise in Mandalay, according to the Department of Hotels and Tourism Development of Mandalay Region.
Tourist arrivals have increased from October 2015 to March 2016.  Most tourists are American, French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Thai and Chinese. The department expects 5 million tourists to come to Myanmar in 2016, and about 500,000 of them will travel to Mandalay and the Bagan Cultural Zone.  Mandalay International Airport is directly linked with Thailand, India and China. Over 120,000 tourists entered Mandalay in 2015 on
direct flights from those countries.
Moreover, foreign travellers have been arriving at Mandalay by vehicles and motorbikes through the Mandalay-Muse Union highway and the Mandalay-Tamu highway. Tourists coming to Mandalay visit Myanansankyaw Golden Palace, Mandalay Hill, Maha Muni Pagoda, U Bein Bridge, the Golden Temple, Ahtumashi Monastery, the Thatahtarna Pagodas, gold embroidery businesses and gold foil businesses.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Tourists visiting to Sri Ksetra rise in previous years


Over 6,000 foreign tourists visited the ancient Sri Ksetra city, listed as a World Heritage site, up until the end of February of the 2015-16 fiscal year, while the start of 2016 saw a rise in visitor numbers.It is known that 3,548 foreign travellers visited the World Heritage site between April and December of 2015, with the first two months of this year seeing 2,598 foreign visitors.“There are more foreign tourists visiting at the moment. Provisions have been made for foreign guests to get about the ancient city in the form of cattle driven carts, cars and motorcyles. Tourist police have also been stationed within the site for those tourists visiting around alone or in a group of two.” said Daw Aye Mya Thein, curator of the Sri Ksetra museum.It is known that the numbers of foreign tourists that visited the ancient city during the 2014-15 fiscal year accounted for 8,768 while Myanmar visitors accounted for nearly 30,000.“There has been an increase in tourists during the tourist season,” said U Kyaw Myo Win, deputy director of the Sri Ksetra based Department of Archaeology and Museum.The trend of a rise in foreign tourists to Sri Ksetra is also evident in the numbers of local tourists to the site, although pricing discrimination remains in place with foreigners being charged K5,000 entry fees to access either the ancient city site or the museum, while Myanmar nationals can enter both free-of-charge.The Minister of Culture has made it known that both foreign and domestic tourist numbers increased in the wake of the ancient Pyu cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri Kestra, which were once the centres of Pyu cultural in Myanmar and located along a stretch of the Ayeyarwaddy river that runs though Myanmar’s central plains, were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites in June, 2014.— Myitmakha News Agency

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar