PROMINENT AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN THE CITY OF YANGON

Many of the old buildings in the city of Yangon, which were built during the early days of the British colonial period, have passed through the ages and withstood on sloughs of earthquake, storms , heavy rains and other natural disasters. These massive buildings, which have lasted so many decades, look as if it’s going to be new to the public view.
Among the old buildings the following buildings are still durable with prestige and diginity:
(1) The City Hall (2) The Supreme Court (Chief Court) (3) The Secretariat (4) The parliament Building (5) The President House (6) The Sorretto Villa (7) The Rangoon College Building (8) The Rangoon University College Building (9) The Teachers’s Training College (10) The Medical College (11) The Rangoon General Hospital (12) The Central Women Hospital.

(13) The Row & Co., Ltd.
It is Located at the corner of Dalthuzie Street (now Maha Bandoola Street) and Bar Street (now Maha Bandoola Garden Street). It is a three-storied concrete building. It is near the City Hall across the Bar Street. During the British colonial period it was a department store owned by an English businessman. A variety of goods imported from abroad was sold in retail to the customers with fair prices. It had been very popular as “Row & Co” until it was nationalized by the Revolutionary Government in March 1964. The Government of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) had used this building as the Head office of the Immigration and Manpower Department.

(14) The Sein Brother (or) Waziya Building
It is situated in the middle block of Pandodan Street. Its is one of the older three-storied buildings in the pre-war days. Before the WWII, it had been very popular as Watson Department Store owned by an English merchant. Like the Row Co.,Ltd, it had sold a variety of goods imported from abroad to the customers at fair prices. After the War its name was changed to Waziya or Sein Brother Department Store owned by Myanmar business U Tun Sein. It was also nationalize by the Revolutionary Government in March 1964. Throughout the period of the BSPP Government it has stood as the Head office of the Myanma Insurance.

(15) The Myanma Port Authority (MPA)
This three-storied building is located at the corner of Pansodan Street and the Strand Road. It had been popularly known as the office of the Port Commissioner during the reign of the AFPFI. Government and the Revolutionary Government until the Government until the Government of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) used it as the Myanma Port Authority up till now.

(16) The Custom House
This three-storied builing is situated in the Strand Road between Pansodan Street and Sule Pagoda Road. It was constructed round about 1900 and formerly known as the Custom House or the Commissioner of Custom Duty. Nowadays, it stands the Department of Custom Duty.

(17) The Strand Hotel
This three-storied building is one of the oldest buildings in Rangoon and was built in 1902. Although this building has a passed through 113 years, it is stille going strong and firm. Since it is located in the Strand Road, it is widely known as the Strand Hotel. The wedding reception ceremonies and the music concerts from abroad have been inaugurated at this Hotel. Before the Inya Lake and Thamada Hotels have not sprung up, the affluent persons took great pride when they hold the wedding receptions and Shinpyu (novitiation ceremonies) at the City Hall and the Strand Hotel. Since the days of the political government a large number of foreigners who have come here on business or on tour have put up at the Strand Hotel.

(18) The General Post Office (GPO)
It has stood as the massive three-storied building and is located at the corner of the Spark Street (npw Bo Aung Kyaw Street) and the Strand Road. It is one of the remnants of the British colonial period. It is constituted with the departments of percel, letter-sorting, letter-distribution , postage, dead letter and many others. Nowadays, it is widely known as the Central Post Office.

(19) The Aung San Stadium
Before the WWII, it had been widely known as the B.A.A. (Burma Athletic Association) Foot-ball Ground. In those days the popular University College foot-ball team and the Burma Police foot-ball tema had played with all-out effort to win a shield at this foot-ball ground. In 1934, the former was awarder with a shield for winning the match against the latter for three consecutive years.
After the War its name was changed to the Aung San Stadium. The State and Division foot-ball teams, the Myanmar selected foot-ball team vs. the foreign foot-ball team played strenuously at this foot-ball ground. The track and field teams and foot-ball ground. The track and field teams and foot-balls teams of universities and colleges participated at the annual events. In 1961 rows of the sitting seat on the eastern sidle was abolished in order to celebrate the SEAP Game grandiosely and replaced with rows of new seat made of concrete.
In December 1962 the American artistes presented short plays with the title of “Holidays on Ice” on the man-made field of ice in the centre of this stadium. They created a large field of ice which lasted for many days and presented musical plays and short plays to the audience flavourly and humorously. The audience was very much pleased with their music and actions. It was the first and only once performance on ice in Myanmar.

(20) The Fire Brigade Building
The tow-storied building with a very tall tower was located in the Sule Pagoda just opposite to the City Hall. One can see from this tower which buildings is set on fire in the city of Rangoon. Fire-fighting vehicles are placed stand by on the ground floor in order to go quickly and extinguish the burnt houses.
In 1959 a visiting foreign stuntman rode a motorcycle on the nylon rope joining between the top floor of the city hall and the roof of the fire brigade building. A large number of pedestrians standing in the Sule Pagoda Road looked at his stunt with excitement and suspense.

(21) The Police Court Building
Among the remnants of the British colonial period this massive and strong building is situated at the corner of the Sule Pagoda Road and the Strand Road. Since the days of the AFPFL Government and the Revolutionary Government it had been constituted with various departments, viz : Office of the Additional Magistrate, Office of the Superintendent of Excise, Office of the Revenue Department and so on. It was formerly known as the Police Court. Next, it had become the Headquarters of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) and then the Headquaters of the Lanzin Youth Central Organizing Committee.

(22) The Bank Buildings
Bank buildings are located in the vicinity of the Sule Pagoda Road, the Merchant Street and Pansodan Street and were constructed before the WWII. Before nationalizing the foreign banks in March 1963, the Chartered Bank, the Imperial Bank of India, the Greenlay Bank and the Overseas Chinese Bank had been possessed by the foreign capitalists. Before 1988 the Union Bank of Burma had transected the banking business in the sule Pagoda Road, downtown Yangon.

 Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.31 From Jan 12 To 18, 2015

Temporary road blocks during 2015 Yoma-Yangon International Marathon

The biggest marathon of Myanmar will be held jointly by First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC). It is learnt that for Yoma-Yangon  International Marathon Race, some roads will be closed for hours.

The race is on 11 January. The race will run along Kyakkasan, Laydaunkan, Waizayanta, Baho, Min Dama, Insein, Inya, Pyay, Kyeemyindaing Kannar Roads and old Strand Road will be temporarily closed from 4:00 to 11:00 am (estimation) for half of road or the whole road.

For such closure, sign boards and signals will be erected. Moreover, traffic discipline and road discipline units and police force units will manage the roads systematically.

The first prize for 42-kilometre race is US$ 2700, second US$ 1400 and third US$ 900. The first prize of 21-kilometre is US$ 1600, second US$ 900 and third US$ 500. The first prize for 10-kilometre is US$ 800, second US$ 400, and US$ 250 for third.

The race is held with the sponsorshio of International Marathon Celebration Committee with the aim to understand Myanmar heritage and natural beauty from nternational.

The entance fee collected from the race will be donated to Day Child Care School and Thuka Yeikmyon Child Development Welfare and Monywa Orphanage Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association.

Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.30

India’s arrival visa draws more 20,000 Buddha Gaya pilgrims

As India grants arrival visa to 43 countries including Myanmar, the number of Myanmar pilgrim increased of up to 20,000, pre source of responsible person from Buddha Gay Pilgrimage Working Committee.

Moreover, Indian Embassy in Myanmar announced on 12 December that electronic travel authorization launched and twice applications available and 30 days permitted per one time.

“If arrival visa is permitted, Buddha Gaya Myanmar pilgrims will raise from 30,000 to 50,000. The current using online visa system will be difficult if internet connection is bad. Furthermore, if application forms are submitted to Indian embassy, the figure is high and ten presons for one group will be allowed and so it is not easy for applicants,” said a responsible preson.

Handling out arrival visa to India is to facilitate to travelers for visiting India.

The applicant can enter from nine India international airports after printing out the permission sent from e-mail.

Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.30

Strict rules and regulations for tendering State-owned hotels

While tender bidding to hire State-owned hotels to private, rules and disciplines to abide will be strict, per source of the Tender Invitation Board of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

In the past, among tender applicants, the highest bidder was selected. Whereas now rules are to be stern and only if they follow, hotel will be transferred, it is learnt.

“Ministry owned hotels are now invited for tender. But we announce rules specially. This is because we have encountered many examples. We don’t say all. Some said variety while bidding tender and after winning tender, they altered as they liked. So we mention rules simultaneously,” said a responsible officer from the Ministry.

However, some rules are described in tender like that among permitted license holders, if some are found that they do not follow In accordance with disciplines, licence will be cancelled.

In the State owned newspaper, rules are mentioned :

1.Recommendation for clear personal history
2. Profiles of respective named company
3. Extended investment plan for hotel
4. Assurance to pay from bank which the owner joins if the hirer does not deposit the proposed value
5. Statement about period to be settled capital on proposed value and profit
6. No another application after changing name of the hirer renting currently department owned hotels
7.Tender winner must pay stamp duty for hotel renting agreement
8.Tender winner must as a whole pay rate which is equal to one year renting amount as deposit fee within fixed period to nominated bank account.

Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.30

The complete draft plan for constructing the Tada-U hotel zone will be inplemented in 2015

The draft plan for building the Tada-U hotel zone in Kadosaik village, Tada-U Township, Kyaukse District, Mandalay Region is finished in the coming 2015, said the President U Myint Aung of Mandalay hotel zone.
The drawing of draft plan is cooperated between Myanmar Tourism Association and Strength United Myanmar Co., Ltd. resided in Singapore.
“The draft plan is already completed. So we continue to draw the Master Plan. This plan will be started to implement in 2015,” said U Myint Aung.
The Tada-U hotel zone is situated 15 miles away from Mandalay and stated to implement in the end fo 2014 which is the start of the tourism season of 2015-16. The hotel zone will be wide 5488 acres and now the businesses are submitting the proposals for buying the land and building the hotels.

Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.30

The basic policy of Myanma ecotourism will be discussed at ASEAN Tourism Forum

ASEAN tourism forum which will be held in Nay Pyi Taw will be discussed about the ecotourism based strategy and policy in the coming February.
“The ecotourism management strategy will be discussed at ASEAN tourism forum as Myanmar participating as host country in January, 2015. The leaflet which write about confirmed policy and strategy will be issued at International Ecotourism Conference as Myanmar is the host country” said the Union Minister U Htay Aung of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
The workshops related to 21 Myanmar tourism regions were held in Yangon, Kawthaung, Putao, Mindat and Mandalay from 18 August to 13 September, 2014.
“At ASEAN tourism forum, we will issue the policy of tourism to the ministers of ASEAN region,” said by the responsible person from Myanmar Tourism Association.
The laying down the policy for the preservation of forest in Myanmar will be cooperated with International centre for Integrated Mountain Development-IcIMOD resided in

Nepal.
The ecotourism policy will be planned together with international experts and will be finished in the end of this month.
The tourism industry is responsible work and can assist to develop the regional public then the protection of environment. So without the proper management in this

industry can occur the adverse effect on the traditional way of livings of the residents.
The 15 tourism camps are regarded with the permission of the Ministry of Forestry in 1998 for the development of the ecotourism in Myanmar.

Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.30

The cable car project for Zwegabin mountain implementing in 2015

The project of transporting the cable car along the Zwegabin mountain in Kayin State will be started in the second week of February, 2015, said the monk Ashin Badana Kawidaza from Zwegabin mountain.
The project is supported USD 13 million by the Japan government and need to pay back after 20 years then the project will take two years.
“The responsible persons from Japan are arriving in Myanmar for this project. They will come to us within two weeks, so the project will be started to begin in 2015,” he said. The cable car will be generated by wind-power and the whole mountain can get the electricity. It can carry 50 Company came on 11 July, people per car and two will 2014 and requested the monk be equipped for going up and to build the cable car down.
The Japan government association and Toshiba Company came on 11 July, 2014 and requested the monk to build the cable car.

Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.30

Permanent Residence News : Luring Myanmar Diaspora for Nation Building

YANGON, Dec. 4  — Myanmar announced yesterday the introduction of a new Permanent Residency program to be implemented from Dec. 29.2014.

The move of the Ministry of Immigration and Population is seen as part of the efforts to mobilize human resources in and out of the country in nation building.

It is also the first time that Myanmar introduces such a residence system to attract and help foreigners to work, invest and live in the country permanently.

Those who are eligible to apply for the permanent residence include foreign professionals, technicians, investors, former Myanmar citizens in exile and spouses and children of them.

Foreign professionals and technicians are required to get recommendation from the ministries, while investors need to make investment without affecting small and medium enterprises, and Myanmar citizens in exile are to contribute to the development of the country.

Blacklist not eligible for Permanent Residency.

However, refugees, asylum seekers and those with criminal records are denied the permanent residence.

Qualified applicants will be granted an initial five-year residence which is renewable yearly.

With an initial application fee of 500 U.S. dollars, a qualified foreign applicant is set to pay 1,000 U.S. dollars, a former Myanmar citizen 500 dollars, a spouse or a child aged 7-18 of a former Myanmar citizen 300 dollars a year.

To support the new system, by-laws are being enacted and measures are being taken properly.

Vice President U Nyan Tun, who is chairman of the Permanent Residence Management Committee, said, “The system is the one that will strengthen the favorable conditions of Myanmar at right time and it will enable scholars, experts, intellectuals and investors from other countries as well as former Myanmar citizens to contribute to the national development.”

Measures are also being taken for protection of national security and interest and small and medium enterprises investment, said Secretary of the Committee U Khin Yi, who is also minister of immigration and population.

Meanwhile, Myanmar nationals residing overseas with foreign citizenship are reportedly allowed to return home and re-take their home citizenship if they give up their foreign citizenship as Myanmar does not allow dual citizenship of their nationals.

In August 2011, Myanmar President U Thein Sein introduced a new policy after his government took office in March dealing with dissidents in and out of the country, saying that “Any individuals and organizations in the nation, that have different views from the government, should not take account of disagreements,” inviting them to work with the government for common goals in the national interest.

He said the government will make review to ensure “Myanmar citizens, living abroad for some reasons, can return home if they have not committed any crime.”

In response to the president’s call, many dissidents in exile have been returning home since then.

People who are on Myanmar’s blacklist and Myanmar nationals who took up citizenship abroad will not be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency in Myanmar, Maung Maung Than, director-general of the Department of Immigration and National Registration told Mizzima December 3.

“The relevant ministry, in cooperation with experts, will scrutinize applications for Permanent Residency, we cannot predict how long this will take, as it will depend on a case by case basis,” he said.

Myanmar citizens who received political asylum in foreign countries, are on the blacklist, or are refugees will not be granted the five-year Permanent Residency status, he said.

About 6,000 people are on the nation’s blacklist for economic and political reasons, Minister for Immigration and Population, U Khin Yi told Mizzima at eVisa Launch on September 1.

Source :

http://www.mizzima.com/mizzima-news/myanmar/item/15503-blacklist-not-eligible-for-permanent-residency-in-myanmar

 http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=256652

Tourism and Moken people of Myanmar’s Mergui archipelago

Where the Indian Ocean rolls towards Myanmar’s southwestern coast, a lacework of 800 islands rises, fringed with shimmering beaches on which there are no footprints.

Hornbills break a primeval silence as they flutter through the soaring jungle canopy..

Pythons slumber on the gnarled roots of eerie mangrove forests. Only rarely will you spot the people who live here – the Moken, who are shy, peaceful nomads of the sea.

The Mergui archipelago has been called the “Lost World”, but outsiders have found it – first fisherman, poachers and loggers, and now developers and high-end tourists. The people losing this would are the Moken, who have lived off the land and the sea for centuries. The islands harbor some of the world’s most important marine biodiversity.

They are also a big attraction for those eager to experience one of Asia’s last tourism frontiers before, as many fear, it succumbs to the revages that have befallen many once-pristime seascapes.

As the world closes in, the long-exploited Moken are rapidly diminishing in numbers and losing the occupations that sustained them for generations.

Though they are known as “sea gypises”, few still live the nomadic life and only some ageing men can fashion the kabang houseboats on which the Moken once lived.

Their island settlements are awash with trash and empty liquor bottles, signs of the alcoholism that has consumed many Moken lives.

“Before it was easy to earn maoney, to find products of the sea.You could fill a bucket with fish. But now many Burmese are pursuing the same livelihoods,” said Aung San,

Resting u nder the trees of Island 115 with about 20 Moken men, women and children.”The life of the Moken is becoming harder and harder.Many Moken men are drying.”

Asked if his people would welcome foreign visitors, the fisherman and trader replied : “We don’t want to live with the Burmese or other people. We want to live by ourselves.”

Myanmar’s former military rulers kept the archipelago off-limits to foreign visitors until 1996. A norminally civilian government took over in 2011, but tourism remains relatively low. About 2,000 tourists visited last year – about 2.5 per island.

To date only one hotel exists, the Myanmar Andaman Resort, tucked away in a U – shaped bay on McLeod Island.

But a grab-the-best-island race is being run among local and foreign developers, with a dozen concessions already granted and others under negotiation.

A long jetty and two helicopter pads have been built and nine bungalows are under construction on the stunning hot rather unhappily named Chin Kite Kyunn – Mosquito Bite Island. Its is leased by Tay Za, believed to be Myanmar’s richest tycoon.

The website of one development company, Singapore’s Zochwell Group, advertises the island it hopes to develop as “The Next Phuket”.

Zochwell is negotiating a lease to build a matrina, casino, hotels and a golf course to be designed by Jack Nicklaus’ company. Visitors, almost all travelling on yachts or dive boats, invariably fall under Mergui’s spell.

Myanmar’s minister of hotels and tourism, Htay Aung, said the islands would be promoted, but that protecting the environment and “minimizing unethical practices” were top priorities.

But for the time being, the region remains a free-for-all, with no overall management plan for tourism or the environment.

Nor is there a known blueprint for the future of the Moken, described by French anthropologist Jacaques Ivanoff as “the soul of the archipelago”.

About 2,000 Moken are believed to inhabit the islands.

Khin Maung Htwe, who has worked with Ivanoff, said re-orienting the largely illiterate Moken from their deeply rooted lifestyles and occupations to being nature guides or hotel staff would prove difficult.

Chinese Property Developer at Risk of Massive Loan Default-Sources

Once modest of pay and profile, risk experts are being reborn as rock stars of the banking world – their status and salaries soaring as regulators force financial institutions to clean up.
Industry-wide investigations into allenged exchange rate manipulation, trading scandals at UBS, Societe Generale and JPMorgan and HSBC’s $1.9billion fine for lax money-laundering rules have upped the ante for banks already under pressure to crub reckless behaviour that led to the financial crisis.
Now watchdogs and central banks want to see a clear line of responsibility for the avoidance of such fiascos in the future, and as a result, the position of chief risk offer (CRO) gas jumped up the ranks. Many CROs now sit alongside the finance director as second in importance behind the chief executive.
“The role of the CRO has become broader, higher profile and more influential,” said Anne Murphy, head of UK financial services for executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson.
In turn, salaries have soared. Pay in risk-related jobs rose 6 percent in 2013 and rocketed 19 percent for those who moved firms, according to a report by recruitment firm Barclay Simpson.
HSBC chief risk officer MaRC Moses joined the bank’s board at the start of 2014, alongside the chairman, chief executive and finance director, and could be paid £6 million ($10 million) this year. Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver, who could be paid $11.4 million this year, says precisis, the bank’s CRO would not have made it into the top 50 earners.