Monday, 26 January 2015 15:46

‘Fighting cancer better’

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Palliative care in Myanmar: hospices and help from visiting specialists

Fighting-cancer-better-1
Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)

Breath is not bated at the U Hla Tun Cancer Hospice in a Yangon’s rural East Dagon Township and time, for its 50 patients, appears neither a burden nor a blessing. visitors may emerge from the hospice compound feeling oddly at peace with their own mortality – but unquestionably grateful for more time.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 17:08

Centres of excellence proposed

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Visiting minister promotes Israel’s agricultural expertise

Yair-Shamir
Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

Israel is hoping to conduct agricultural trials in Myanmar to demonstrate techniques that can produce tenfold increases in crop yields, Agricultural Minister Yair Shamir said on January 14.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 13:26

Defeated by Hkakabo Razi

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Bad luck and hostile circumstances

Defeated-by-Hkakabo-Razi
 

Which mountain is the highest in Myanmar – and mainland Southeast Asia – is still under debate. Some say Hkakabo Razi is the highest with an estimated height of 5,881 metres. Only one mountaineer, Japan’s Takashi Ozaki, has summited Hkakabo Razi, he did so in 1995. He would later die on the flanks of Mount Everest.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:56

Difficult access, funding shortfalls

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Winter brings more misery for refugees from war

Children playing at Mai Na IDP camp. Photo: Yola Verbruggen
Children playing at Mai Na IDP camp. Photo: Yola Verbruggen

Winter weather has brought more misery for thousands of internally displaced people who have sought refuge in camps in Kachin and northern Shan states on the border with China to escape fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Kachin Independence Army.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 13:09

Under the radar

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Tentative return home for Myitsone villagers

Myitsone-village
Photo: Yola Verbruggen

Laundry flutters in the wind and motorbikes line the road in Tang Hpre village, near the confluence of the Mali Hka and N’Mai Hka rivers in Kachin State. Many residents have returned to the village since work on the Myitsone Dam was suspended three years ago. The dam would have submerged the village.

Christian college students endure limited opportunities

The 48 acre Myanmar Union Adventist Seminary campus was completed in 1985 in Myaungmya, Ayeyarwady Region. Students pitch in with cleaning and maintenance daily.
The 48 acre Myanmar Union Adventist Seminary campus was completed in 1985 in Myaungmya, Ayeyarwady Region. Students pitch in with cleaning and maintenance daily.

“We are young so we want to do many things and get whatever we want; regulations control us not to do bad things.” a young student of Myanmar’s only Seventh Day Adventist college told me over juice in a faculty member’s home. She exuded the wisdom of a much older person, a parent even, as her peers nodded knowingly, a colourful portrait of Jesus on the wall behind them.

Tin Aye, chairman of the Union Election Commission talks during a meeting with political parties in Yangon, Myanmar, 21 October 2014. Photo: EPA/LYNN BO BO
U Tin Aye, chairman of the Union Election Commission talks during a meeting with political parties in Yangon on October 21, 2014. U Tin Aye called on political parties, civil society organisations and international aid groups to work for the country's general elections which will be held in late 2015. EPA/LYNN BO BO

Members of the Union Election Commission say they are unsure if a constitutional referendum will take place in May, as the key logistics of the exercise remain shrouded in uncertainty five months before the vote is due to take place.

Monday, 12 January 2015 14:12

Supporting survivors of violence

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Gender equality groups plan Yangon's first women's shelter

Ma Htar Htar, Akhayar director. Source: Facebook
Ma Htar Htar, Akhayar director. Source: Facebook

In a ground-breaking move towards providing comprehensive support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Yangon, gender equality organisations are planning to expand counselling, legal aid and hotline services and open the city’s first shelter for women and children.

Photo: mgallery.com
Photo: mgallery.com

The first thing you will notice at Primo are the layered teak planks suspended from the ceiling to imitate a ship’s hull. The next feature that will catch your eye at the restaurant in The Lake Garden hotel at Nay Pyi Taw is the open kitchen, a rarity in a restaurant in Myanmar.

Myanmar President U Thein Sein (C) shakes hand with officials as he arrives at Sittwe Airport in Rakhine State on December 26. EPA/NYUNT WIN
Myanmar President U Thein Sein (C) shakes hand with officials as he arrives at Sittwe Airport in Rakhine State on December 26, 2014. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA

President U Thein Sein has recommended that the temporary citizens known as white card holders be allowed to vote in the constitutional referendum proposed for May, after an opposition MP moved to disenfranchise them from the process last year.