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Myanmar's parliament to resume fifth sessions on May 18

Myanmar's fifth parliamentary sessions of both houses will resume in Nay Pyi Taw on May 18, two months after the fourth sessions ended on March 18, according to an announcement of the parliament on Thursday. In the resuming parliament sessions, some laws are expected to be promulgated and parliament representatives-elect in the April by-election will be sworn in to office.



NFA to lead discussion on ASEAN food security situation

State-run grains agency National Food Authority is now the forefront of Association of Southeast Asian Nations discussion on the current food situation in the region, with a specific focus on the region's rice reserve mechanism. On behalf of the Philippine government, the NFA is now hosting the 37th meeting of the ASEAN Food Security Reserve Board being attended by representatives from 10 member-countries.



Chinese Officials Push for Kyaukphyu SEZ to Move Forward

During a trip to Arakan State's Kyaukphyu Township on Monday, Chinese official Wang Yajun emphasized that his country aims for the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone to be up and running as soon as possible, local sources said. Kyaukphyu Township administrator U Nyi Nyi Lwin said that along with Wang Yajun-who is the assistant minister of the international department of the Communist Party of China's central committee-a regional official from the Chinese CITIC investment conglomerate and several diplomats were present on the visit, holding talks with local authorities and businesspeople.



Agriculture department to feature natural fiber in Asean

THE Philippines' finest organic and artisanal agricultural products and natural fibers will be featured on the sidelines of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on April 26 to 29 in an expo sponsored by the Department of Agriculture . Manila will host the first summit of the 10 leaders of Southeast Asia as Chair of the Asean this year.



RCSS/SSA-S National-level Political Dialogue at a Standstill

The Burma government and the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army-South have not yet reached an agreement on the venue for holding ethnic-based national-level dialogue in Shan State. "We've asked to hold the Shan political dialogue in Taunggyi or Panglong but we are still unable to agree on a venue," said RCSS/SSA-S spokesperson Col Sai La.



Myanmar to hold peace talks in May with ethnic rebels

In this photograph taken Oct 14, 2016, armed rebels belonging to the Kachin Independence Army ethnic group take a cigarette break as they move towards the frontline near Laiza in Kachin state. YANGON: Myanmar will hold peace talks next month aimed at ending decades-long ethnic wars that have intensified since Aung San Suu Kyi's party took power a year ago, it was announced on Tuesday .



Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein: 'I Do Not Think We Can Build Peace Quickly'

Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein is the former vice chairperson of the Karen National Union . She is a longstanding KNU leader and has served the organization as a schoolteacher, women's rights activist, general secretary and vice chairperson.



The Military Ties That Bind

A military delegation led by Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing left on Sunday for a goodwill visit to Germany at the invitation of Chief of Defense of the German Armed Forces General Volker Weiker. It is the senior general's second visit to Europe.



India's political and security establishment needs a strategy in light of China's naval expansion.

The Type 002 represents not only a much bigger class of ship but will incorporate modern design and operational features, including a catapult and early-warning aircraft. China's state-owned Global Times newspaper reported last month that the People's Liberation Army Navy's second aircraft carrier, referred to as "Type 001A" is nearing completion and that another carrier, dubbed "Type 002", is also under construction.



Rangoon MP: Owners of Unlawful Game Centers Should be Punished-Not Employees

A lawmaker has called for clearer definitions of illegal gambling machines sometimes found in "game centers" in Rangoon and more accountability for the owners of such firms. MP U Than Naing Oo of Panbedan Township asked Rangoon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe in a divisional parliamentary session on Monday to specify illegal gambling machines in game centers-also known as amusement arcades-as the 19th century legislation in use is too vague.



How a Trip to Myanmar Can Help the Mind, Body and Spirit

For a physical adventure, climb the 1,129 steps of Mandalay Hill, the 777 steps of Mount Popa or the 725-meter high Mount Zwegabin. The time is ripe to visit Myanmar.



Myanmar gov't, armed groups agree on 8 points for continued peace process

Myanmar government and eight signatory armed groups to the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord agreed on Monday on eight points with their continued peace process, said Director-General of the Ministry of the Office of the State Counselor's Office U Zaw Htay. The Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting which reviews peace activities and the second Panglong conference was held in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday, attended by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Vice Senior-General Soe Win, and leaders of eight signatory armed groups to the NCA.



Sniffer Dog Welfare Group Founded in Memory of 'Sergeant Michael'

A charity group for the welfare of Burma's sniffer dogs will be established following the death of Rangoon's five-year-old German Shepherd bomb squad member during the Thingyan water festival. Sergeant Michael died of gastrointestinal problems on April 15. His handler family said the cause of his death was possibly intense fatigue, brought on after carrying out continuous missions as the only sniffer dog on duty in the country's biggest city.



National Bank of Canada acquires interest in Myanmar mobile money outfit Ongo

The National Bank of Canada has acquired a 22% stake in Ongo, a mobile money service with big plans for expansion in Myanmar. Established by emerging markets investment business Ronoc, the Ongo e-wallet allows for P2P money transfers, B2B payments and bill payments, alongside cash-in and top-up services at two hundred cash agent locations around Yangon.



Globe trotting designers

Following my last blog on the size of London's architectural economy, I was interviewed for a programme on BBC television about the impact of Brexit. Jack Pringle, UK head of Perkins and Will and ex President of the RIBA, was also on the programme and showed the presenter around his office and quizzed his staff about where they were from - "Italy", "Slovakia", "Spain" they responded The president of the RIBA Jane Duncan said that if London cannot "keep the skills that it currently employs then it will lose its competitive edge".



Myanmar plans agricultural development strategy

Myanmar is planning an agricultural development strategy on the basis of the second five-year national development plan, official media reported Monday. With the help of the Asian Development Bank , the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund , the strategy, once drawn up, will be released through workshops in the next two months to seek public opinions.



Myanmar gov't to ease restrictions to create loan opportunities for private sector

Myanmar government is planning to relax restrictions and rules to create opportunities for providing loan for private sector development, an official report said Sunday. Citing the fishery industry, Vice President U Myint Swe, who is chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee, said the sector stands one of the businesses which requires loan to turn to a modern farming method from the traditional one.





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