In spite of concerns raised by lawmakers on the wisdom of accepting large foreign loans for commercially viable projects, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw overwhelmingly voted yesterday in favour of receiving more than 31 billion yen (US$283 million) from the Japanese government to fund the construction of a new bridge over the Bago River.
Rakhine State Advisory Commission head and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has urged the government to focus on restabilising Rakhine State amid ongoing violence that has freshly displaced thousands and driven a further “wedge” between Buddhist and Muslim communities.
Peace activists in Yangon held a “white flag” march yesterday calling for an end to the country’s civil war, with around 50 people joining the procession through the commercial capital’s downtown area.
Nearly 300 workers from the Shwe Mi plastic factory in Hlaing Tharyar township’s industrial zone have been on strike for over a week, demanding an increase in wages and an improvement in other employment conditions.
Parliament will decide this week whether or not to accept a 94 billion yen (US$824 million) soft loan from Japan for a range of capital projects, including aid to farmers, building roads and bridges for rural development, expanding electricity distribution, upgrading the Yangon-Mandalay Railway and improving Yangon’s water supply.
HIV/AIDS is ravaging rural Kachin State as most residents feel they have little or no access to confidential counselling, condoms, or information about sexually transmitted diseases. Many do not even realise condoms can protect them, say local youth organisations.