March 20 - 26, 2006 Myanmar's first international weekly © Volume 16, No.309
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News Briefs

Pyinmana mayor

THE Minister of Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs, Colonel Thein Nyunt, has been appointed mayor of Naypyidaw, the new administrative capital near Pyinmana in central Myanmar.
The announcement was made by the Prime Minister’s Office on March 1.
An official from the ministry in Naypyidaw said Colonel Thein Nyunt will also continue serving as minister, a position he has held since 1997.

– Nwe Nwe Aye

UNWA donation

THE United Nations Women’s Association (UNWA) donated about K3.8 million for four micro-development projects in Myanmar last year, said association president Mrs Ranjana Udas.
The donation money went to two projects in Yangon – the repair of an orphanage and the improvement of the sewage system in a madrasah (Islamic school) – and two in Shan State: construction of a nursery school in Paw Naw and of a village resources centre in Yay Oo Myauk, both in Nyanung Shwe township.

– Khin Myat

Motorcycle penalties

THE Yangon Division Traffic Police Force has increased the penalty for motorcycle riders who cross into Yangon Division, where motorcycle use is prohibited, from areas where they are registered.
“Previously, we imposed a fine of K11,500 for operating motorcycles in Yangon Division, but early this month we started confiscating motorcycles that cross over from registered areas,” said Police Inspector Daw Ohn Kyi.

– Yan Naing Hein

Betel nut warning

CHEWING betel nut might be considered a quintessential Myanmar habit, but the practice has a negative effect on health as well as on personal finances, said Dr Nyo Nyo Kyaing, the project manager of the Health Department’s Tobacco Free Initiatives program.
She said chewing betel can cause stomach aches, irregular heartbeats, mouth ulcers and even oral cancer.
A 2004 survey conducted by Tobacco Free Initiatives found that 25 per cent of men and 8 per cent of women in Myanmar chew betel nut, most of them from the lower class. It also found that the average betel user spends about 10 per cent of his or her income on the habit.

– Sandar Linn

Bus service contract

AN official from the Yangon Division All Bus-line Control Committee said that buses are not allowed to stop running or to shift to another line without the committee’s approval, even if their service contract has expired.
“If the buses are bought from us, the owners must sign a contract to operate for five years under the supervision of the committee,” said committee secretary U Myat Hla, adding that if the buses stop running without informing the committee, the licence will not be renewed.
Although bus owners must get committee approval if they want to keep running after their contract expires, they are not required to sign another contract, he said.
The committee collects two per cent of the daily earnings from each bus for administrative costs and another one per cent for the Workers’ Welfare Fund.

– Yan Naing Hein

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