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Tracing George Orwell's footsteps in Burma with a nom de plume

EMMA-Orwell-drawing-PVBroadzThe award-winning Finding George Orwell in Burma is a non-fiction account of a woman who retraces George Orwell’s footsteps during the five years he served as a colonial police officer in what was then a province of British India. After his return to Britain in 1927, George Orwell (whose real name was Eric Blair) wrote a scathing account of colonial rule called Burmese Days, as well as the dystopian classics Animal Farm and Nineteen-Eighty-Four, the latter of which depicts a society shackled by its extreme authoritarian rulers. Recounting her visits to Yangon, Twante, Pyin Oo Lwin, Mawlamyine and Katha, where Orwell served as a police officer, the author shed new light on the creative influence Myanmar had on his later works and political outlook. Extensive interviews with sources – connected and unconnected to Orwell – also provide a glimpse into Burmese society during the 1990s and early 21st century, when it was truly Orwellian.

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Hal Bosher, CEO of Yoma Bank Photo: Lwin Maung Maung
Hal Bosher, CEO of Yoma Bank Photo: Lwin Maung Maung

Many banks were affected by the 2003 financial crisis in Myanmar and among them was Yoma Bank. After its licence was returned in August 2012, the bank decided to head in a new direction. Canadian Hal Bosher, Yoma Bank's chief executive officer, was formerly with the World Bank. Mizzima Business Weekly's Hans Hulst spoke to Mr Bosher about the challenges facing Myanmar's banking sector.

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Luxury complex architect aims at "least impact" on Shwedagon

Alex Lau, a veteran architect of high-end developments in Hong Kong, China, North America, and South-East Asia, is leading the design work on a luxury complex scheduled to appear on the Yangon skyline, near the landmark Shwedagon Pagoda, in 2019. The deputy managing director of the Wong Tung Group of Companies, based in Hong Kong, is no stranger to Yangon having previously worked on the Sule Shangri-La Hotel (formerly Traders). The Wong Tung Group of Companies has also undertaken the design of the Lakeside Shangri-La Hotel rimming Kandawgyi Lake, set to open in 2017.

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Pansodan-Gallery
“I tend to avoid famous artists because they already have a market. But if an artist is very talented and influential in terms of having their illustrations widely published in journals, but has never cracked the art market – I will go for that.” Photo: Jessica Mudditt

New directions in the Myanmar art market

U Aung Soe Min is the owner and founder of Yangon's Pansodan Gallery, which showcases the country’s most eclectic collection of fine art. He spoke to Mizzima Business Weekly about recent developments in the art market and why he'd rather promote individual talent than an artistic trend.

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Dutch minister sees big opportunities for water management expertise

The Dutch have fought the sea for centuries and are considered to be specialists in water management. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, visited Myanmar from June 3 to 5 with a delegation that included hydrologists and water engineering companies. An integrated national water resources study sponsored by the Netherlands will be completed in November. Mizzima Business Weekly’s Hans Hulst spoke to Mrs Schultz van Haegen at Yangon International Airport.

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Sally Bamford is an art historian who lives in Sydney, Australia.  She is researching how Myanmar's nats are represented in art for a PhD from the Australian National University in Canberra.  Ms Bamford has been interested in the nats since her first visit to Myanmar in 1995, when she was given a Thagyamin nat puppet for her birthday.  She returns to Myanmar two or three times a year for research and to visit friends. Mizzima Business Weekly's Geoffrey Goddard spoke to Sally Bamford about her research and began by asking an obvious question.

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