Tent-dwellers on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River in Mandalay may soon be exchanging their canvas walls for bricks and mortar, as the regional government seeks tenants for newly completed low-cost housing.
High prices and threats of flooding will probably not deter pilgrims and holidaymakers from flocking to Mann Shwesettaw Pagoda when the season opens in February. The holiness of the site and the beauty of its surroundings will still be enough to attract them in the customary hordes – at least as long as the footprint of Buddha survives the threat of erosion.
Fearing further flood damage in the next rainy season, a group of civil society organisations in Kalay, Sagaing Region, is trying to jump-start government action to deal with a giant natural reservoir formed by a landslide. The activists fear that unless something is done to drain the 6.4-hectare (16-acre) reservoir, the city will again be engulfed by floodwaters descending from the hills.
On reaching the age of 80, and alone in the world, Daw Shwe Phoo Wai sold everything she had and donated the proceeds to charity. Even in a culture where such behaviour is revered, her devotion is rare.
In this arid part of southern Shan State, it’s the only game in town. In U Toe Maung’s village, Yenwae, in Hpekon township, all the farmers grow opium. They always have. Strolling among the opium fields is one of his earliest memories, he said.
Recent whale sharks sightings off two popular tourist beaches in western Myanmar have underscored the poaching risks facing the world’s largest fish, as well as the challenge of enforcing laws against hunting the vulnerable species.
Pyin Oo Lwin officials are cracking down on forest dwellers squatting near a road construction site alongside the city’s only water supply.
The K2 million Lawka Tharra peace award for 2015 has been awarded to reggae singer Saw Phoe Khwar for his contribution to harmony in inter-communal relations. The award was presented by the Asia Light Foundation and Green Pyin Oo Lwin on December 31.
The deputy chair of Buddhist hardline group Ma Ba Tha is staging a “World Peace Buddhist Conference” at the end of the month. Combating hate speech and religious conflict are among several aims of the event, which will bring together representatives of various religions.