Tag Archives: Rangoon

Menikmati “Shueyeyeh” di Kota Rangoon

Kata orang Rangoon sekarang dah nak masuk musim sejuk… Tapi aku rasa panas terik lebih terik dari di Chuping, Perlis. Menghadapi panas melampau nie memerlukan kita untuk sentiasa segar dan mendapat banyak air, sebanyak mungkin.

Dalam melilau nak menunggu waktu solat setelah menyelesaikan beberapa urusan yang berkaitan dengan tugasan di lapangan, kami terjumpa gerai Kakak nie di hadapan sebuah kedai menjual peralatan gantian untuk barangan elektronik.


Kami berbual dalam bahasa Inggeris bercampur aduk, janji komunikasi berlaku… aku faham dia pun faham. Aku tanya dia “benda nie makan macamana?” Kakak tu kata (dia explain dalam bahasa Burma) “roti campur agar-agar campur cendol campur kelapa bla..bla..” Nampak cam lazat dan menyelerakan betul.

Dipendekkan, aku dan Ashraff masing-masing ambil sorang satu mangkuk. Memang sedap, konsepnya sama cam Lai Chee Kang, ada ais ketul, cuma dia tak de segala macam kacang, kismis, kembang semangkuk, selasih tu semua… dia hanya ada roti manis yang terendam ditengah-tengah mangkuk, agar-agar, cendol hijau, agar-agar bulat-bulat, santan kelapa dan isi kelapa yang diracik halus.


Harga pun tak mahal dalam Kyat500 je, lebih kurang RM1.50…

Mesti korang tanya halal ke tidak? Main rembat je… memanglah iklan kakak nie semua dalam bahasa Burma, sepatah haram aku tak faham, tapi ada satu benda yang menyebabkan kami berhenti… dia ada gambar bulan bintang pada iklan dia tu… sahlah nie geng 786.


Jadi, kalau korang ada kesempatan berkunjung ke Rangoon, cubalah cari “Shueyeyeh” nie… ingat Pop Ye Yeh ingat Shueyeyeh!


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Sports ministry denying Suu Kyi access to stadiums

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese government is throwing up obstacles to prevent the National League for Democracy (NLD) from booking sports stadiums for campaign rallies by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

NLD campaign manager Nyan Win told a press conference on Monday in Rangoon that government sports minister Tint San is disrupting the NLD electoral campaign because the ministry will not allow access to book football stadiums, which are necessary to hold the large crowds that Suu Kyi attracts wherever she campaigns.

Government officials have repeatedly claimed that the April 1 by-election would be free and fair, a specific requirement sought by the international community prior to removing sanctions on the military-dominated government which says it is moving toward democracy. The NLD party is contesting for 48 seats in the by-election, and Suu Kyi said she plans to campaign across the country.

NLD spokesperson Ohn Kyaing said Suu Kyi wanted to deliver a speech at Pyapon Stadium in Irrawaddy Region on February 17, but the Sports Ministry would not make the stadium available and she was forced to deliver her speech at Thelgwin on the outskirts of Pyapon.

Talking about the ministry’s actions, Suu Kyi said in her speech in Thelgwin that such actions will damage the government’s credibility, especially with the international community which is carefully monitoring the by-election campaign.

The ministry also sent the NLD a letter rejecting its request to speak on February 15 at the Hlegu Football Stadium in Rangoon Region. Suu Kyi was permitted to use the stadium after the Union Election Commission (UEC) mediated between the two sides. A similar case involved Suu Kyi’s trip to Pathein in Irrawaddy Region in the first week of February, Ohn Kyaing told Mizzima.

On February 4, Suu Kyi was forced to postpone her planned campaign trip to Mandalay because the authorities said the Myanmar Football Federation refused to rent the Bahtoo football stadium for a speech.

The NLD applied on February 17 to the Mandalay Region Sports Department to use the stadium located near Mandalay Mountain, but the authorities did not reply, said Myo Naing, an NLD official from Mandalay Region.

The UEC has been informed about the issue, but so far it has not taken any preventive action, said Ohn Kyaing.

Minister Tint San is the owner of A.C.E Construction Company. In the 2010 general elections, he won a Lower House seat in Myaungmya Township as a Union Solidarity and Development Party candidate. In March 2011, he resigned to become Minister of Hotels and Tourism and Sports Minister.

In the April 1 by-election, Dr. Phyo Ko Ko Tint San, a son of Minister Tint San, is a candidate for a seat in the Myaungmya Township constituency. The NLD candidate is Mann Johnny.

Meanwhile, at the NLD press conference on Monday, Nyan Win said Upper House MP Dr. Myat Nyar Na Soe has resigned from the National Democratic Force to become an NLD member.


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ASEAN should push Myanmar on Rohingya Issue too

ASEAN should be brave enough to remind Yangoon on the rights and plight of the Rohingyas.  The Rohingyas are the legitimate habitant in the Arakan and nearby areas and they had been staying there for hundreds of years and they are recognized as the owner of the land.  

Baseless allegations such as Rohingyas are the migrators from Bangladesh are the common escapism sentence that will be used by the SPDC regime to allow their brutality and harrassment to these Rohingyas. 

The leaders of ASEAN, I’m sure have enough information and in-fact some of them had the opportunity to see the truth of what this SPDC regime had done to their own people. 

ASEAN is not a forum only for the leaders, it is also a forum for us, the people of ASEAN.  People of ASEAN cannot tolerate such a notorius government who doesnt have any guts to accept their own people.  

ASEAN should push Myanmar harder on the issue of human rights, democracy and tolerancy.  The current development on democracy in Myanmar is just a lip service.  The foreign Minister of ASEAN is wasting the tax-payers money in Senggigi  if they cant do anything better than pressuring the SPDC regime to uphold the basic human rights to its own people.

SHAHRUL PESHAWAR, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur


ASEAN to push Myanmar on democracy, wants sanctions lifted


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Filed under Bencana Manusia, Di Minda Saya, Human Rights, IDP, Inilah dunia, Protokol & Piagam, Refugee

Eavesdropping on a slave trader

RANGOON, Feb 15 — Her glasses were Gucci and her bag YSL. The smart Burmese businesswoman was perched neatly on a sofa in the lobby of a Rangoon hotel, delivering her sales patter to a small group of businessmen.

Her product? Human beings.

“We supply only strong bodies,” she says crisply. “That is our guarantee.’” I am sitting at the next table using the hotel Wi-Fi, and, as she speaks in clear English, I am drawn into a world of desperation and exploitation.

The woman is a supplier of workers for deep-sea trawlers, and her stock of men come from Burma’s beautiful but impoverished Inle Lake area, where fishing the tranquil waters no longer makes enough to feed a family.

“These are just simple fishermen; they are not educated, but what we promise you is strong bodies,” she says, using a phrase she repeats again and again.

It appears the businesswoman’s potential customers are middlemen, probably Chinese. Through a translator, they discuss placing the men on boats in the South China Sea, trawling for tuna.

First, they will be flown to a Chinese city. In echoes of the slave trade, she describes a selection process worthy of a livestock market. In a 21st century twist, she does so with the aid of pictures on her notebook PC.

“We make them stand in the sun for one hour,” she says. “In the middle of the day when it is very hot. We see how they manage, if they look uncomfortable.” The group leans in to see the pictures on her computer.

“We make them carry 20kg, like this,” she continues, showing them photographs I cannot see. “For deep-sea fishing, they may need to carry very big fish for long distances across the ship.”

Then comes the seasickness test. “We put them in here,” the woman says, but I can’t see the picture. I think it must be an enclosed truck or some sort of container on water. “Then we start to move them around. If they are sick or find it hard to breathe we don’t select them. This is how we select the best bodies.”

The group nods. The images of Burma’s Rohingya boat people, fleeing oppression only to be allegedly abused and cast adrift by the Thai military, has drawn international attention to the plight of one of the world’s most downtrodden people.

The Muslim Rohingya face particular persecution in military-ruled Burma, but throughout the country, impoverished men and women who see no future at home are embarking on risky journeys abroad in search of an income for their families.

During the eavesdropping session, I learn more about the business. The fishermen are to earn US$2,400 (RM8,640) a year, an enticing wage in Burma, where average rural incomes are about US$300 (RM1,080) a year.

But their rights are few, and they are expected to work very long hours for their money. “During the high season, they can work 23 hours a day,” says the saleswoman. “Then in the low season they can relax a little and rest.”

Any fee the agent wishes from the salaries is up to them, the woman says, and the fishermen should only be paid every six months “in case they fall sick, or violate the contract”, she said.

Finally, one of the businessmen appears to ask a question about the welfare of the fishermen. The saleswoman suggests there should be an area on board the ships for the fishermen to live and cook, and says that those who operate machinery should get a bonus.

“We hope they can make money to help their families,” she says, smiling, and the group nods again.

Hit by the global recession and the mismanagement and neglect of Burma’s ruling generals, in power for nearly 50 years, the country’s farmers and fishermen are suffering as never before, say aid workers.

“The agricultural sector, which employs 80% of the population, is imploding,” said Kerren Hedlund, an adviser to a consortium of aid agencies in Rangoon. “People are getting into greater and greater debt to finance a livelihood that’s not possible.”

In the cities, there is high unemployment, frequent power cuts and ever-climbing prices for food and basic goods. Most people try to scratch a living in the informal economy or the black market.

A lack of opportunity has driven millions of Burma’s young people on dangerous journeys to Southeast Asia’s wealthier nations. They sneak across the border to Thailand, to work illegally as domestic help, labourers, or in the fish-processing industry.

Many young men make perilous sea voyages in the hope of reaching Malaysia, paying agents hundreds of dollars for places on rickety boats.

If they make it, construction work is relatively well-paid, but migrant workers run the risk of abuse at the hands of employers and the authorities.

The migrants live simply, and try to send all the money they can back home. “There is a huge exodus of people from Burma,” said Debbie Stothard, of the Bangkok-based Burma lobby group Altsean.

“It is a land of no opportunity. The only way people can survive is to have a family member overseas, sending money home.” — The Independent


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Opposition Leader in Myanmar Expresses Frustration With U.N.


February 3, 2009

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader who is under house arrest, expressed frustration to a United Nations envoy on Monday over the organization’s failure to persuade Myanmar’s hard-line military leaders to give up their monopoly on power, her political party said.

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent more than 13 of the past 19 years under house arrest, was briefly allowed out on Monday for a rare meeting with the United Nations envoy, Ibrahim Gambari. Nyan Win, a spokesman for Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, said that during the meeting she told Mr. Gambari that “she was ready and willing to meet anyone” to achieve political reform, but “could not accept having meetings without achieving any outcome.”

The party contends that Mr. Gambari’s seven visits since 2007 have produced no tangible progress toward democracy, saying that the United Nations has not been able to persuade the junta to release political prisoners or to hold talks with the democratic opposition. The party won an election in 1990, but was not allowed to take office.

Last August, Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi snubbed Mr. Gambari by declining to keep an appointment with him and refusing to open the gates of her house in Yangon to his representatives. The gesture was surprising, because the house arrest keeps her in extreme isolation; Mr. Gambari is one of the rare outsiders, other than her lawyer and doctor, allowed to see her.

Myanmar’s military junta, which has ruled the country since 1962, when it was known as Burma, tolerates no dissent and crushed pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks in September 2007. Human rights groups say it holds more than 2,100 political prisoners, a large increase from the nearly 1,200 political prisoners who were being held before the demonstrations.

Mr. Gambari, who arrived Saturday for a four-day visit, has told diplomats that his objectives are to urge the junta to free political prisoners, discuss the country’s ailing economy and revive a dialogue with Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi.

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