Every morning on his way to work in Yangon, builder Zaw Min Tun takes a swig of water at a Buddhist temple, a vital place to quench a thirst for the many ordinary citizens left behind by Myanmar’s economic boom.
Taking a break from renewed clashes in Shan State, a group of rebels in full combat fatigues chat away as they line up to have their holiday snaps taken in a photo booth decked out with plastic flowers and a big red heart. One by one their pictures emerge from a printer after a quick Photoshop, drawing big smiles and payment of 100 baht (about US$3).
In what has the potential to become an important step for transparency in Nay Pyi Taw, the government has opened the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to local and foreign tourists – on the condition that they bring their passports and do not drink alcohol for the duration of the tour.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. That’s the premise of the third Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, a week-long event the opened yesterday and is screening at the Nay Pyi Taw and Waziyar Cinemas in Yangon.
Here the great apes once roamed, along with orangutans, chimpanzees, wolves, an Indian rhino, tigers, leopards and a hyena nobody had ever seen before. The Yangon Zoological Garden has been home to them all in its 109-year history.