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Myanmar : A Beautiful Country

05 October, 2013

 Myanmar : A Beautiful Country


-      Manju Ratna Sakya


Nepal Journalists Association

Myanmar is known as the golden land not only for her golden pagodas but also for her fertile land and the wealth of its agriculture, natural resources and precious minerals and stones. Myanmar has a variety of natural beauty, waterfalls, magnificent lakes, enchanting cages, natural sandy beaches, the unique culture of different ethnic groups and the famous thousand year old glittering golden pagodas. Myanmar also has flora and fauna, resorts to rest and make excursion. Traditionally, Myanmar is known as a cultural destination because of its numerous historical monuments, Buddhist temples and pagodas. There are other attractions for visitors who are specialized in Archaeology, Buddhism, Entomology, Birds, Plants, etc. Some adventurous tourists visit Myanmar for trekking, scuba diving, cross-country cycling, car rally and hot-air balloon flying. Furthermore, Myanmar is the only country in Southeast Asia with snow-capped mountains and Mt. Khakaborazi is the highest mountain in Myanmar. For eco-tourists, there are many new natural parks throughout the country.

Tourism has become a growth sector in national economy following the liberalization of policies under the market-oriented economy. Tourism industry was systematically and firmly established in 1992 with the formation of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. It is responsible for policy formulation and implementation of action plans. The main directing staff under the Ministry is the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (DHT) whose main functions are planning, promotion, marketing and research, investment in tourism, facilitation and regulation of private sector. Myanma Hotels and Tourism services (MHTS) is the commercial enterprise which manages state-owned hotels, tour operations (Myanma Travel & Tours), Duty Free Shops and local beverage businesses. On the national level, the Tourism Development Management Committee DMC) has been formed and there are 12-Sub committees for various tasks. This high-level Committee reflects the Government's commitment to the development of tourism as a potential economic sector.

The Media in Myanmar


          The Ministry of Information of the Union of Myanmar informs, educates and entertains the public in accord with the Government  policies and principal objectives, which are :

(a) To inform the public – the policy of the Government and its short,

      term and long-term tasks

(b) To educate and mobilize the public through mass communications


To be more extent, we may say the Ministry –

          (a)  Disseminates news and information about the true and situation.

          (b)  Resembles a Taxila which at all times gives worthy lessons,

                 knowledge and education and moreover  fulfils the comfort,

                 relaxation and satisfaction of the people like a shady tree under

                 which they take refugee.


          As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar fully understands the importance of using the print and electronic media for public information and for better understanding of the objectives of ASEAN set down by the conferences held in Jakarta in 1989 and in Kuala Lumpur in 1991. Myanmar is promoting the dignity of the ASEAN and understanding among the people of ASEAN member countries of the historical traditions of their own countries and social values accepted in those countries.


          The Ministry of Information comprises Myanma Radio and Television, Information and Public Relations Department, Printing and Publishing Enterprise. News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) and Myanma Motion Pictures Enterprise.The News and Periodicals Enterprise published daily one English broadsheet and two Myanmar tabloids weekly special supplement are published. Occasionally, the newspaper houses publishing books. In 1997, NPE published 10 kinds of books totaling 2,00,000. The NPE published the weekly, International News, in which news about ASEAN is also highlighted and the English monthly “Guardian”. Myanmar News Agency (Internal) deals in domestic news and Myanmar News Agency (International) receives and distributes wire service coverage under contract with more than 15 agencies.


          There are many social non-government organizations related to mass media such as : Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association. Myanmar Motion Picture Association, Myanmar Theatrical Association, Myanmar Music Association, Myanmar Artistes & Artisans Association and Myanmar Publishers Association.


Friendly Relations between NJA and NPE


In this beautiful country Mynamar, Nepal Journalists Association (NJA) and News & Periodicals Enterprises of Ministry of Information (MOF) have the exchange of journalists visit programe since two decades. Accordingly, the first eight members NJA delegation led by me visited Myanmar  from 14th November to 23rd November 1992. Likewise, under my leadership, the NJA 8 members delegation visited Myanmar from 18th January to 27th January 1996, four members NJA delegation from 17th November  to 21st November 1996, Six members NJA delegation from  22nd May to 28th May 1998, Seven members NJA delegation from 19th November to 26th November 1999, Seven members NJA delegation from 31st October to 7th November  2004 and Six members NJA delegation from 12th January to 19th January 2007.


          During our above official visits in Myanmar, we got the opportunity to meet Minister of Information Major General Aye Kyan on Friday 26th January 1996, Minister for Hotels & Tourism Major General Saw Lwin, Minister for Information Major General Kyi Aung, Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement  Brig. Gen. Pyi Sone on Monday 25th May 1998, Minister for Information Major Gen. Kyi Aung on Wednesday 24th  November 1999, Minister for Information Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan on Monday 1st November  2004  and Minister for Commerce Brig. Gen. Tin Naing Thein on Friday 5th November 2004.


          Likewise, we met high level Government authorities and seniors officials . We also had opportunity to met the Managing Director of News & Periodicals Enterprise U Soe Win, Executives and office bearers of Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association, Chief Editors and senior journalists of The New Light of Myanmar, Myanma Alin Daily and Sarpay Beikman Board (Printing & Publishing Enterprise).          We visited the office of The New Light of Myanmar, Myanma Alin, MRTV where we met Directors, Deputy Directors and Chief Editors.


 The Nepali journalists delegation also visited many places of Myanmar including Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Magok and Pyin-Oo-Lwin (Maymyo) also. During our stay in Yangon, we visited Shwadagon Pagoda, Maha Wizaya Pagoda, Ananda Pagoda, Botath Aung Pagoda, Kan Taw Gyi Natural Garden, Law Kachantha, Abaya Labamune Stupa, Narcotic Drugs Museum, National Races Village, Hinethaya Industrial Zone, Jade Museum, National Museum, Archaeological Museum, People’s Square & People’s Park, Drug Elemination Museum, Myanma Gems Market & Gems Museum, Dagon (North) New Satellite Town, Dagon University, Defence Services Museum and Department Store at Bogyoke Market.


          In Bagan, We visited Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Pagoda, New Bagan Archaeological Museum, Lacquerware Institute, Thabyinnyu Pagoda, Lawkananda Tooth Relic Pagoda (to view the sunset over Ayeyawady River).


          In Mandalay, we visited University for Development of National Races in Yawathitkyi, Sagaing, Maha Muni Pagoda, Yadanabon Bridge Construction sites & Mandalay Hill, Cultural Museum & Myanma San Kyaw Shwe Nandan Golden Palace and Zegyo Market.


          In Pyin-Oo-Lwin, we visited Botanical Garden, Silk Weaving and Gold Embroidery factory and met Nepalese Community. In Mogok, we also met Nepalese Community.


          We visited, Bo Myat Htun Bridge of Nyaungdon Township where we have seen the Bridge Construction work by officials of the Ministry of Construction. At the same place we arrived at Pan-Hlaing Slauce Gate where the officials of Agriculture and Irrigation briefed us about land preparation and agriculture activities in Nyaungdon area. There we observed the land preparation works and fish-paddy cultivation around the area. We also visited factories and housing projects at Hlaing Thayar Industrial City which was presented by officials of Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development.


Visit of Myanmar journalists delegation


          At the Invitation of NJA, the eight members Myanmar journalists delegation led by Deputy Director of News & Periodicals Enterprises U Maung Maung Nyo visited Nepal from 16th Jan. to 23rd January 1993. During their visit, the Myanmar journalist delegation led by U Maung Maung Nyo met the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at PM residence in Baluwatar on Tuesday 19th January 1993. They also met Speaker of Lower House Daman Nath Dhungana on Sunday 17th January 1993. Besides that they met State Minister of Communication B.K. Gachedar and State Minister of Industry R.K. Tamrakar also.


          Likewise,Deputy Chief  Editor of Guardian Magazine of News & Periodicals Enterprise U Soe Naung visited Nepal from 19th April to 25th April 2000 leading five members Myanmar journalists delegation at the invitation of NJA. The Myanmar  journalists delegation led by U Soe Naung also met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at PM residence in Baluwatar on Thursday 20th April 2000. They also met Deputy Prime Minister Ram Chandra Poudel on Monday 24th April 2000. The delegation met Information & Communication Minister Jaya Prasad Gupta on Thursday 2oth April 2000.


          At the invitation of NJA, Director of Information & Public Relations Department of NPE U Tun Min visited Nepal leading four members Myanmar journalists delegation from 13th January to 18th January 2005. The Myanmar journalists delegation led by U Tun Min met the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba at PM residene in Baluwatar on 14th January 2005. They also met Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari at Ministers quarter on Sunday 16th Jan. 2005. Likewise, they had courtesy call on Speaker of House of Representative Tara Nath Ranabhat on Sunday 16thJanuary 2005. Information and Communication Minister Dr. Mohamed Mohsin also met them on Monday 17th January 2005.


We hope that the exchange of journalists visits between our Associations  will definitely strengthen the mutual  friendly relations between Nepal and Myanmar. 


Successful Myanmar General Election

The Union of Myanmar had  a very successful General Election which was held on 7th November  2010. According to the Myanmar Union Election Commission, the last series of election results with the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDA) winning the majority of 883 parliamentary seats or 76.5 percent out of the final total of 1,154 at three levels.The USDA, led by Prime Minister U Thein Sein occupies 259 seats or 79.6 percent out of 325 with the house of representatives, 129 seats or 76.7 percent out of 168 with the house of nationalities and 495 seats or 74.8 percent out of 661 with the seats of region or state parliament.

The USDP is followed by the National Unity Party (NUP) with 63 seats in which 12 with the house of representatives, 5 with the house of nationalities and 46 with the region or state parliament.

The Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) took 57 seats in which the party shares 18 with the house of representatives, 3 with the house of nationalities and 36 with the region or state parliament.

The Rakhine Nationalities Development Party held 35 seats with 9 in the house of representatives, 7 in the house of nationalities and 19 in region or state parliament, while the National Democratic Force (NDF) and the All Mon Region Democracy Party ( AMRDP) each with 16 at three levels of parliament.

Some minor number of seats were won by other parties which fielded a lesser number of candidates for According to party sources, the USDP fielded 1,100 candidates, NUP 975, NDF 160 and Shan Nationals Democratic Party (SNDP) 157 for contesting a total of over 1,100 parliamentary seats at all levels in the election.

Nationally, a total of over 3,000 parliamentary candidates from 37 political parties including 82 independents took part in the competition across the country's seven regions and seven ethnic states.

On behalf of NJA, we would like to express our warm congratulations to  the people of Myanmar for the successful general election.

Myanmar heads for new era of Presidential system


Myanmar has elected its President and Vice Presidents in the Union Parliament, signifying the completion of change from the military government to a civilian one and heading for a new era of adopting Presidential system.


In the post of Prime Minister U Thein Sein, who is representative to the House of Representatives (lower house), was elected as the country's President, while current first secretary of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) U Tin Aung Myint Oo, who is also representative to the House of Representatives and Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, who is representative to the House of Nationalities ( upper house) were elected as the Vice Presidents.

Thein Sein, 65 is a career soldier who joined the military junta in 1997 when it was reorganized. He replaced General Soe Win as Premier in 2007 and has been the regime's international face at regional forums.

         All of the three are members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) led by U Thein Sein.

         The USDP, transformed from the Union Solidarity and Development Association and established in April 2010 stands a strong political party with high ranking government officials playing as core leadership.

                  The union parliament is constituted with two level of parliaments  House of Representatives and House of Nationalities which involves elected ones in the November 2010 General election and 25-percent military nominated ones.

         U Thein Sein USDP Chairman, came from Nay Pyi Taw region's Zabuthiri constituency, while Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, came from Shan state constituency-3 and Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo came from Nay Pyi Taw region's Pobbathiri constituency.

       U Thein Sein, No. 4 state leader  has been Prime Minister since October 2007 when he took over the premiership from demised General Soe Win.Thein Sein was then SPDC first secretary. He was also triangle region commander in 1997 when the SPDC was formed. He was assigned as Chairman of the National Convention Convening Commission when the convention resumed in 2004 to undertake continued drafting of the new state constitution after a seven-step roadmap to democracy was worked out in 2003.

       Quitting his military title Thein Sein formed the Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) in April 2010 to run the November 2010 multi-party General election in which he was elected as representative to the House of Representatives.

       Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, born in the border town of Muse in 1950 is known as a doctor with a medical degree obtained from Mandalay. He has served as chairman of the Central Shan Literature and Cultural Organization.

       Similar to Thein Sein, Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo, No. 5 state leader, also quitted his military title and entered the 2010 general election, in which he was elected as representative to the House of Representatives.       He became SPDC first secretary with the military rank of lieutenant-general in October 2007, the post left by Thein Sein then. He was Quartermaster General and North East Commander in 1997.


        In Myanmar, the economic entrepreneurs are joining hands with the Government in running the business with honesty, discipline and farsightedness to bring about the development of the nation and the smooth running of the market economic system. The entire national development tasks are carried out with the collective leadership and individual responsibility. Due to the coordination and cooperation of the Government departments and the public together, the national development has become evident and gaining momentum. Actually we have found that the relationship between the Government and the people is just like the water and fish.


         During our visits in Myanmar we have also found that the Government is emphasizing for development in the future are industrial development, electricity, mechanized agriculture, transportation,  commodity price control and reduction. In order that the seven- step policy  plan succeeds , consecutive and timely action are undertaken for the stability of the State, prevalence of law and order, community peace and tranquility, to  ease the food, clothing and shelter needs of the people and  good educational foundation to be able to differentiate right or wrong and good or bad.


           The Government of Union of Myanmar is carrying out the development tasks all over the nation including both the hills and the plains, there emerged social infrastructure - pagodas   and monasteries, religious edifices, roads, bridges and irrigation facilities, mills and  factories and so on. River and creek bridges have been constructed,  filing  the recesses in earth , leveling the ground and tunneling the mountains. All  the national brethren on the hills and the plains have closer contacts and friendship as a result of smooth and efficient communication. Due to the irrigation facilities, agricultural production has become quite successful in the country.


We have experienced and witnessed from a very close quarter how the living standard of  the Myanmar people had risen and improved . We noticed almost all people, to whatever vocation they belong to, very well dressed, quite happy and honestly dedicated to develop their country. Everywhere, both in the urban and rural regions we found construction and development works going on in full swing. Throughout the country it was really praiseworthy. All through new hotels are under construction to promote tourists which is also flourishing. The environment and atmosphere is every where neat and clean. The people are fully satisfied with  the development works in all sectors. It was really a happy occasion see Myanmar developing.  We have found the people enjoying full freedom of human right, full freedom of work,  full freedom of expression, full  freedom of democracy and full freedom of press. Likewise, we have found the political stability in Union of Myanmar.The public life there is quite peaceful, serene and secure. The Government is committed to the people's progress and as a result the people too are extending their integrated cooperation to each and every step of the Government. The people are intensely willing to turn Myanmar clean, pure, green and attractive.


          During our visit to Myanmar, we have seen that all the valuable historical items are well preserved. We are greatly impressed to the way all the Nepalese community are living in Myanmar in happiness and peace.          We have found that businessmen are busy for business and industrialists are busy for better productions. The market price for any items are very cheaper and the quality is also very excellent. We have met many foreigner tourists and have seen many tourists with their smiling faces. In many places the people are donating cash and we have found that the donations money are quite used by the concerning authorities of the Pagodas. We are highly satisfied and impressed from the recent developments in Myanmar.Wherever we visited, we have been accorded warm welcome and kind hospitality which we will never forget .