Erosion has stripped the topsoil from cleared hillsides near Pam Lem village, making poppy growing more difficult.

Growing poppy was a moral dilemma, said Khun Aung Htun, 29, a resident of Bant Sawk village, about 13 miles (21 km) from Hopone.

Saturday, 20 September 2014 19:06

From opium to espresso

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An alternative crop brings hope to southern Shan State poppy growers

Long Htway village resident Sai Sang Sai, 31, displays poppy seeds. Of the 39 familes in the village, 15 have begun growing coffee. Photos: Portia Larlee

“We couldn't stay in the village; I had three young children and one was still breastfeeding,” said Nang Ba Na, 66, recalling the grim time when the fighting came. “We didn't have torch lights then, only pine oil lamps; we slept under trees.”

Sunday, 14 September 2014 16:18

A century of suppressing student activism

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The suppression of student activism begun during the British colonial period endures in Myanmar.

‘The message I want to convey to the public is that early diagnosis is vital’

Myanmar is stepping up efforts to counter the growing public health threat posed by diabetes with the first national study of the disease due to be conducted this month and a publicity campaign helping to raise awareness about the insidious but common non-communicable condition.

Saturday, 13 September 2014 17:06

Myanmar's dry zone

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Assessing the challenges to building a greener future

Myanmar's vast central dry zone and the challenges to improving its agricultural productivity and bringing more security to the lives of its villagers were the focus of a workshop held recently in Yangon by the Mercy Corps, an international non-government organisation based in the United States.

Sunday, 07 September 2014 16:06

Harm reduction for 'floating' community

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Indian NGO supports Myanmar drug users

Every day dozens of Myanmar drug users cross the porous border with India at Tamu to buy and inject heroin in Moreh, where a community-based organisation is doing what it can to ensure the harm caused by their addiction is kept to a minimum.

Sunday, 07 September 2014 16:01

Saving lives, preventing HIV transmission

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Myanmar takes regional lead in harm reduction strategies

A progressive response to drug addiction has given Myanmar the distinction of leading the region in harm reduction strategies, a pragmatic approach to dealing with one of the world's most debilitating health problems.

Saturday, 06 September 2014 16:51

Heavy metal

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Cost, time savings spark a surge in steel-framed buildings

Long-preferred for factories and warehouses because it allows for wider spans and column-free spaces, steel is increasingly being used for the frames of commercial buildings, such as this one under construction on Yangon’s Kaba Aye Pagoda Road. Photos: Hein Htet

Evidence is everywhere that steel is on the way up as a building material in Myanmar amid a boom in the construction sector driven by a combination of economic growth and foreign investment.

Saturday, 06 September 2014 16:26

Big leap

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The long-awaited roll out to better, faster connections

Communications remain slow and problematic in Myanmar, but change is on the way. Photo: Hong Sar

Myanmar’s telecommunications sector is poised for sharp growth with the entry into the market of two foreign operators and the government’s Myanma Post and Telecommunications planning a US$2 billion upgrade with a Japanese partner.

Sunday, 31 August 2014 11:51

Accidents and injuries

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Unregistered workers relying on compassion for compensation payouts

Economic growth is creating jobs that are giving many families better living standards but accidents at factories, building sites and other work places are focusing attention on accident compensation and whether coverage provided under a 91-year-old law is adequate.