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Myanmar pushing for strong AEC foundations, says Thein Sein

Publication Date : 12-08-2014

 

Myanmar wants to help build strong foundations for the Asean Community - an important task which was 80 per cent done, President Thein Sein has said.

Speaking at the opening session of the 47th Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting and 47th Asean Day, the President said: "This is an important time for Asean.

The founding of an Asean Community has nearly reached 80 per cent [of what needs to be done] and will be finished in 17 months time."

The founding of an Asean Community was the top priority for the bloc, while the second priority was to ensure the regional community is strongly established.

"According to the 2008 Asean Charter, [Asean] will transform into an organisation based on rules and regulations. Then, it needs to cooperate to strengthen the main institutions of Asean," he said.

The president said the third priority of Asean was to adapt to global changes and current conditions, so the region develops and responds well to international circumstances.

Thein Sein urged Asean ministers to prepare to face challenges and threats, and said that the Asean Community would perform better in 2015.

The opening of the 47th Asean Summit and event to honour the 47th Asean Day were held at Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC1) in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday.

Vice presidents Dr Sai Mauk Kham and Nyan Tun also attended along with Foreign Affairs Minister Wanna Maung Lwin, parliamentary speakers Thura Shwe Mann and Khin Aung Myint, Union Election Commission chairman Tin Aye, commander-in-chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing with union ministers, ministers from Asean countries and partner states, plus high-ranking officials from Norway, Timor and Mongolia.

Dozens of roadside stalls in Yangon to be upgraded

More than 40 roadside stalls in Yangon will be upgraded in a bid to boost food safety standards.

Some 46 stalls - two from each township - will be chosen for improvements over a trial period, according to the Myanmar Restaurant Association.

The chosen stalls will get free support with furniture, plus an upgrade for other requirements.

"We have discussed the upgrading with people running 46 roadside stalls. The main thing is that these stalls must join hands with the Myanmar Restaurant Association. The people running them will have to get medical checkups and their shops must be located in sites which the city has approved," Kyaw Myat Moe, general secretary of the association, said.

Yangon City Development Committee will get help from the Department of Health so the shop owners can get medical checkups free of charge. They will support the stalls if the owners are found to be free of any diseases.

The 46 roadside stalls are in Latha, lanmadaw, Kyauktada, Pabetan, Tamwe, Pazundaung and Bahan.

Workers face problems after Dawei project suspended

Workers and local people dependent on construction of the Dawei deep-sea port and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Taninthayi region are facing livelihood problems following suspension of the projects late last year.

The Italian-Thai Development (ITD) company allowed Thai workers to return home and dismissed local workers after paying them compensation last November.

Ei Khaing, from Pu Gaw Zon village, who opened a restaurant at a market built by ITD in the project compound, said: "At the time the projects were suspended, business was very weak due to workers going home.

"In April last year, there were more than 30 shops. But since the projects have been suspended, some have closed because business is bad. Now, only about 10 shops remain.

"Previously, we sold between 40,000 to 100,000 kyat worth of meals a day. But now, we can only sell about 10,000 kyat worth of meals a day. Although the company provides electricity and water to us around the clock for free, we can't enjoy these things if we go back home. We are trying to earn a daily wage for our families," Ei Khaing said.

At present, there are about 480 houses being built in Bawa, a new town - as replacement homes for villagers evicted for the SEZ and related projects.

Some local people with previously lacked housing are living in homes in Bawa, but they face power and water problems.

A local woman who relocated to Bawa said: "Previously, we worked at Charkhine beach in the project area as fisherwomen. Our houses were removed from the village for the project. But, they [the authorities] replaced our houses with the new town.

"Now, I earn money by catching fish as my husband can't work as a fisherman, because the new town is about 10 miles [16 kilometres] from the old place."

ITD paid compensation for farmers who suffered submerged paddy fields, plus farms and houses located in the project areas for the deep-sea port and SEZ before the projects were suspended.

Now, the locals are having difficulty finding work as there are no places offering jobs. There are also social problems because the company has paid no further compensation.

 

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