- Suu Kyi Strikes Agreements With Thailand On Labor and Borders
- The Irrawaddy Business Roundup (June 25, 2016)
- Kachin Warlord Loses Parliamentary Seat in Post-Election Tribunal
- Dateline: ‘There Will Not Be Public Spaces Left if Action is Not Taken’
Posted: 25 Jun 2016 02:04 AM PDT
BANGKOK, Thailand — Burma's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has told Burmese migrant workers in Thailand they would be protected under new agreements signed between the two countries.
She also said jobs would be created in Burma for thousands of Burmese refugees in Thailand who stand to be repatriated, and that the two countries would cooperate over border issues.
Suu Kyi was speaking at a joint press briefing with the Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok on Friday.
After a bilateral meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing by respective ministers of agreements on cross border affairs and the employment of workers, and a memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation.
These may help address the vulnerabilities—and lack of adequate legal protection—faced by what is estimated to be several million Burmese migrant workers in Thailand.
Suu Kyi said, "I am confident that, because of mutual understanding between us, we will be able to address all the issues and problems of our people in the right way through consultation and through constant contact between decision makers."
She guaranteed the protection of Burmese migrant workers' rights, which would also help them to contribute to the host country's economy.
She said, "I recognize that we in [Burma] are responsible for our people here. We will never neglect them."
Suu Kyi on Thursday went to meet with Burmese migrant workers from all over Thailand in Mahachai, Samut Sakhon province. Tens of thousands showed up to demonstrate their support for her and to share experiences of labor exploitation.
Her visit to Thailand has not all gone to plan. At Mahachi, she was permitted by Thai authorities to meet with less than 500 workers, leaving thousands disappointed. Also, her trip to the Tham Hin camp for Burmese refugees on the Thailand-Burma border in Ratchaburi province on Saturday was cancelled on the grounds of her security.
Job creation for refugee return
Despite being unable to visit the refugee camp, Suu Kyi stressed her appreciation of Thailand's support to Burmese refugees over decades.
She said, "Of course, what we all want is for people displaced from our country to come back to us." But, she said, it was not enough say to "come back"—jobs have to be created for them.
"Job creation is of the greatest importance for the country. On every trip I have been on in [Burma], people talk about the need for jobs," she said.
"Our people want work. They don't want charity. They want to have the opportunity of standing on their own two feet and feeling proud," they said.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut said they had achieved "concrete results" on bilateral affairs, including the protection and promotion of the basic rights of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, a three-year development cooperation framework (2016-18) for border areas, and issues of connectivity and economic cooperation.
They also touched briefly on Thailand's continued support for Burma's peace process, as well as the development of the Dawei special economic zone in Burma's Tenasserim Division, which the leaders agreed would creates jobs and further connectivity (and which has received substantial Thai pledges of investment).
Kavi Chongkittavorn, a senior fellow at the Institute of Security and International Studies in Chulalongkon Univeristy, told The Irrawaddy that Thailand supports Suu Kyi's peace initiative with ethnic armed groups in Burma—now branded the "21st Century Panglong Conference"—"but they agreed not to discuss the matter [during Suu Kyi's trip] because it is too sensitive. Thailand, as you know, supports the peace process fully."
Education key for Asean
On Friday morning, Suu Kyi , who is Burma's Foreign Minister as well as State Counselor, met with the Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, before giving a lecture to Thai students at the ministry office, which emphasized the importance of education.
During Suu Kyi's lecture, "Myanmar, Asean and the World: The way forward," she received questions on economic and social issues, drugs and Burma's peace process, students told The Irrawaddy.
Sasicha Chaiphanonwit, an International Relations student from Chulalongkon University, said, "it was good to learn [Burma's] policy on Asean."
Over 200 Thai students from a variety of universities and some international students from Burma, Cambodia and Bhutan expressed clear excitement at meeting with Suu Kyi.
Mu Sel, a Burmese student from Rangsit University who attended, said, "She questioned us on what we want to be in in the future and how we can contribute, while talking about further connectivity and networking in the region."
Kavi Chongkittavorn told the Irrawaddy that Thai-Burmese relations were of great importance to Southeast Asia. "For some 50 years," he said, "Thailand did not have normal relations with Burma because of mistrust."
The post Suu Kyi Strikes Agreements With Thailand On Labor and Borders appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
Posted: 24 Jun 2016 07:56 PM PDT
Burma Makes UN List of Top Investment Destinations
Burma is one of the top 15 prospective destinations for investment among the executives of companies operating globally, a survey by a UN agency has found.
Reflecting increasing interest in Burma's economy, the country featured among the 15 "top prospective host countries" for investment for the first time. The survey found that 4 percent of MNE executives who responded to the survey selected Burma among their three most promising countries for future foreign direct investment (FDI) for the years 2016-18.
Burma was the eighth ranked developing economy in the list and the 14th ranked out of all countries. The United States was ranked first, followed by China, which was first in last year's survey.
Burma also featured elsewhere in the UNCTAD report, which refers to the massive growth of in FDI approvals the country has seen. The government reported that approved projects in the last fiscal year, from April 2015 to March 2016, were altogether worth US$9 billion. That included a last-minute rush of deals signed by the outgoing administration, some of which may be reviewed by the new government.
According to UNCTAD, which looks at the foreign exchange records and other sources to analyze FDI, the actual inflow of investment was $3 billion during 2015 (the report looked at calendar years), an increase of almost 200 percent compared with the previous year.
UNCTAD also predicted positive things for investment in Burma in the future.
"In August 2015, the Governments of [Burma] and Thailand signed an agreement to develop the Dawei Special Economic Zone in the former, for a total investment of $8.6 billion, to be implemented in two phases," the report said. "FDI flows to [Burma] are therefore set to continue performing well, as the construction of such foreign-invested industrial zones will help boost FDI into both infrastructure and manufacturing."
Reuters reported earlier this month that new FDI approvals had been on hold since the transfer of power to the new government at the end of March.
A fresh Myanmar Investment Commission had now been formed, however, and its secretary, Aung Naing Oo, told the newswire that about 50 foreign investment proposals worth a total of around $2.3 billion had been submitted during the commission's downtime.
Hong Kong Trade Body Sees Manufacturing Potential
Improving political conditions in Burma could make the country more attractive to firms in southern China looking to move manufacturing to Southeast Asia, a Hong Kong trade body has said.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council said in a statement that a delegation of researchers visited the country recently to study the potential for production.
Facing rising wages for Chinese workers, manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta—a sprawling conurbation that includes the cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou—are "relocating their production lines to Southeast Asia," it said.
The researchers said the transfer of power to the National League for Democracy-led government in late March should "usher in national policy reforms and lay the groundwork for the development of the country’s manufacturing sector."
The government's commitment to reform could make Burma "Asean's next low-cost manufacturing powerhouse, a hotspot increasingly drawing the attention of international sourcing companies," the statement said.
On the plus side, Burma has plentiful and cheap labor, the statement said, noting "a ready pool of young workers for manufacturing industries including garment, footwear, timepieces and food processing."
However, training and skills were lacking, and the water supply, sewerage and power supply they found in Burma were poor, HKTDC's researchers warned. "In terms of infrastructure, the country is still at a starting point compared with more advanced Asean countries."
"The market expects that the receding of political risks and the smooth transition of government will attract a new wave of investment from overseas," Dickson Ho, HKTDC principal economist for Asian and emerging markets, said in the statement.
"During our fact-finding trip, both government departments and private companies that we met were invariably quite optimistic about the economic prospects of the country."
Myanmar Brewery to Sell Kirin Ichiban Beer Brand
As competition increases among beer producers to tap the Burmese beer-drinking market, Myanmar Brewery Limited will begin bottling and widely distributing the Japanese beer brand Ichiban in the country, according to a report.
European brewers Heineken and Carlsberg both started making beer in Burma last year, entering a market dominated by the military-linked Myanmar Beer brand.
Also last year, Japanese company Kirin reportedly paid US$560 million for a 55 percent stake in Myanmar Beer's producer, Myanmar Brewery, after Singapore's F&N offloaded its share following a legal dispute with the local shareholder, Union Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL). The conglomerate was founded by the Burmese military and recently became a public company—although most shares in UMEHL are expected to remain in the hands of serving or retired military personnel.
Nikkei Asian Review reported that Myanmar Brewery and Kirin will "produce canned and bottled Ichiban"—the Japanese company's signature beer, whose name means "Number One."
It said the beer would be a "premium offering" in Burma, selling for prices comparable to Heineken.
"With a target of having 200 retail stores carry Ichiban by the end of the year, Kirin will step up marketing to supermarkets and other businesses in urban areas," the report said.
Thai Lion Air Gets Approval for Busy Rangoon Route
Thai-Indonesian low-cost airline Thai Lion Air has now received approval to begin flights on the already competitive route between Bangkok and Rangoon, according to reports.
Trade publication Routes Online said the new flights would begin on July 22. It said there would be two flights daily each way between Bangkok's Don Mueang airport and Rangoon's international airport.
The airline had jumped the gun and announced it would begin flying in May, before being censured by the Thai government for advertising tickets for flights on the route before it was approved by Burma's Department of Civil Aviation.
The Bangkok Post on Wednesday cited insiders who said the delay was the result of attempts by Burmese airlines to oppose the entrance of a foreign competitor.
The route is already well served, with Thai AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, Thai Smile and Nok Air, as well as Myanmar Airways International and the Burmese flag carrier Myanmar National Airlines currently connecting the two cities.
JetStar Adds Singapore Flights After Visa Move
Singapore-based budget airline JetStar Asia will increase its number of flights on the Rangoon-Singapore route to 13 per week when a new visa rule comes in, according to The Straits Times.
From Dec. 1, Singaporeans and Burmese will be able to visit each other's countries for 30 days without a visa.
JetStar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi reportedly said three new flights between Singapore and Rangoon would be added to the airline's schedule at that time.
"The announcement of a visa waiver for travel between the two countries is indeed welcome news for boosting further tourism and more convenient business travel," Pasupathi told The Straits Times.
"We have served a million customers on this route thus far, and our additional services will cater for the expected increase in people flow between Singapore and [Rangoon]."
Posted: 24 Jun 2016 07:42 PM PDT
Veteran Kachin militia leader Zahkung Ting Ying will have to forfeit his seat in the Union Upper House, according to a decision reached by a post-election dispute tribunal under the Union Election Commission (UEC) in Naypyidaw on Friday morning.
Zahkung has the option of appealing the tribunal's decision, although it is not currently clear whether he will do so.
Zahkung was defending two cases involving intimidation, defamation and alleged violence during the election campaign period last year. The cases in question were filed by rival independent candidate Yaw Na and a National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate, San Wai Khaung Lwan, who competed in another constituency in the same area of eastern Kachin State.
As an independent candidate in the November election, Zakhung won the Upper House seat of Kachin State-5, covering Chipwi, Tsawlaw and Injingyang townships, a sparsely populated area home to fewer than 20,000 people, according to the 2014 census. He was lawmaker also under the previous government, from 2011.
Zahkung's NLD competitor, Kyaw Kyaw Oo, who was among those targeted by the alleged intimidation and violence, did not file a tribunal case himself out of fear for his safety, according to his colleagues. This prompted his party colleague San Win Khaung Lun to do so on his behalf.
As was reported previously by The Irrawaddy, Zahkung sent a letter to NLD candidates on Sept 22, early on in the election campaign period, forbidding them from campaigning in "Kachin State Special Region 1"—an area coinciding with his electoral constituency controlled by Zahkung's own militia, the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), which is firmly allied with the Burma Army and became a Border Guard Force in 2009.
Although the Kachin State Election Sub-Commission negotiated a settlement between Zahkung and the NLD, allowing the latter's candidates to campaign in the area, on Oct 12 the NLD candidates abandoned a planned campaign event in Chipwi Township after its members were attacked by around 30 men allegedly linked to Zahkung and the NDA-K.
Zahkung issued two more threatening letters on Oct 21 and Nov 1, calling the NLD "invaders" and "public enemies," and personally attacking Aung San Suu Kyi for "betraying her people" by marrying a foreigner. Copies of the letters were available for public view outside the UEC during the tribunal sessions.
The UEC tribunal on Friday ruled in favor of the two cases against Zahkung Ting Ying, citing his breach of Article 66 of the Upper House Election Law, which outlines electoral "malpractices" including "creating violence, making false accusation or writing, creating public unrest to a party or person for the purpose of electing a [parliamentary] candidate."
San Wai Khaung Lun, who filed one of the cases, told The Irrawaddy: "The commission ruled that Zahkung Ting Ying committed malpractices in the election. So, we won."
"Zahkung Ting Ying has been recalled from Constituency 5 [of Kachin State] and will be replaced with U Yaw Nar," Tin Tun Thein, a lawyer representing the NLD at the tribunal session told The Irrawaddy, since independent candidate Yaw Nar was the runner up in the poll with around 3,000 votes to Zahkung's approximately 5,000.
The lawyer representing Zahkung Ting Ying, who was absent at the tribunal session, said he would discuss with his client whether or not they would appeal the decision.
In another UEC tribunal decision on Friday, Zahkung Ting Ying's son Zahkung Ying Seng—the winning candidate for Chipwi Township (2) in the Kachin State parliament for the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State—successfully defended a case brought against him by Kaw Baung of the NLD. Although the accusations of intimidation linked to the NDA-K militia were similar to the cases filed against his father, his culpability was purportedly less clear.
"We lost the U Zahkung Ying Seng case. He will remain the lawmaker," said NLD's lawyer Tin Tun Thein.
The Friday tribunal session at the UEC, attended by The Irrawaddy, was open to the public and had an audience of around 30. There were no indications of bias, or restrictions placed on the individuals pursuing or defending the electoral dispute cases.
Due to Zahkung Ting Ying's close allegiance with Burma's military and his clout as a local power broker in Kachin State, this tribunal case was a test of the fairness of the UEC's post-election dispute resolution process. That the case was decided against him will likely bolster confidence in Burma's election commission, after it administered a general election widely perceived as free and impartial.
The tribunal process falls short of international standards in lacking structural independence from the UEC. Tribunal judges in all cases have been senior members of the UEC; although they had the option to appoint independent legal experts as judges, the UEC chose not to do so. Appeals against tribunal decisions go only to the UEC, whose decision is final. There is no judicial or parliamentary oversight.
Forty-five tribunal cases were filed with the UEC against winning candidates in the November election, 26 of which were filed by the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the former ruling party that lost heavily in the election, and eight by the NLD, which won by a landslide. Cases involved 14 Union Lower House seats, six Union Upper House seats and 25 seats from state and divisional parliaments, with the largest number coming from Shan and Kachin states. Allegations vary between intimidation, polling station staff misconduct, defamation and misuse of religion.
Only a minority of tribunal cases has been settled so far. As with tribunals after the 2010 election—governed by the same framework—individual cases have extended over many sessions since the process began in December. For a brief period, tribunal sessions were moved out to state and divisional capitals, to facilitate testimony from a substantial number of witnesses.
The cost of traveling repeatedly to Naypyidaw—including from remote areas of Kachin State—and hiring lawyers over a period of many months has been substantial for those pursuing or defending cases. Those filing cases also had also to pay a fee of 500,000 kyats (US$420) at the outset, which reportedly deterred some individuals from filing.
Earlier sessions of the cases pursued against Zahkung Ting Ying revealed a complex backstory to the feud between the militia leader and the NLD. According to witnesses questioned during tribunal sessions in the Kachin State capital Myitkyina, NLD members competing in the townships concerned were linked to a faction that broke away from Zahkung's NDA-K militia, and later engaged in hostilities with the NDA-K with the help of the Kachin Independence Army.
Due to devastating rates of drug addiction among Kachin youth, Zahkung Ting Ying's alleged involvement in opium production has earned him the enmity of members of Kachin civil society as well as Pat Jasan, an anti-drugs vigilante group in Kachin State backed by the Kachin Baptist Convention. In February, hundreds of local Kachin protested outside Zahkung's house in Myitkyina as well as the offices of the Kachin State government, after an attack by armed opium farmers on Pat Jasan volunteers undertaking poppy-eradication in Waingmaw Township.
The post Kachin Warlord Loses Parliamentary Seat in Post-Election Tribunal appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
Posted: 24 Jun 2016 07:29 PM PDT
Kyaw Zwa Moe: Welcome to Dateline Irrawaddy! This week, we'll discuss public spaces in Yangon. Public spaces like gardens, sports grounds, streets and lakes used for firefighting purposes were grabbed through various methods under Yangon's previous government. We'll discuss how we can get those public spaces back and prevent similar land grabbing in the future. Yangon divisional lawmaker U Nay Myo Kyaw (aka) U Nay Phone Latt of Thingangyun constituency and Irrawaddy senior reporter Ko Kyaw Phyo Tha will join me for the discussion. I'm Irrawaddy English editor Kyaw Zwa Moe.
Ko Nay Phone Latt, last week you put forward a proposal to Yangon divisional parliament to ensure that people get public spaces back. Fifteen lawmakers seconded your proposal and it was approved. I read your article in which you said inhumane housing projects that do not take public spaces into consideration have mushroomed in our country. Public spaces were grabbed and used for commercial purposes by businessmen who worked hand in glove with civil servants of the previous government, and also probably with municipal staff. Public spaces are rare now in Yangon, and so you submitted the proposal. How bad do you think the situation is?
Nay Phone Latt: I submitted the proposal based on my experiences in Thingangyun constituency. I carried out a survey and listened to the voices of my constituents. Most of them complained that there was no children's playground. I asked if there aren't any and they replied that there used to be playgrounds. There are four wards—16/1,2,3,4 in our neighborhood and there used to be a pitch in each ward. But now, pitches in wards 1, 2 and 4 are gone. [Concerned authorities] developed those pitches into plots, authorized them as residential and sold them. Now all the pitches have turned into residential buildings.
KZM: Who sells and who buys?
NPL: I don't know exactly. The seller can either be the municipality or the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development [under the Construction Ministry]. In our country, public spaces are registered under departmental ownership under municipalities, the Human Settlement and Housing Development Department, the War Veterans Organization, the Cooperatives Department and so on. Perhaps, they really think they own them and therefore sell those lands, which has been the case in ward 16. Now only ward 16/3 has public space.
In my proposal, I mentioned the case of AKK Shopping Mall in Thingangyun Township as an example. There is a street by AKK Shopping Mall where the municipality [Yangon City Development Committee] has built a two-story office. A total of 15 lawmakers debated the proposal, mentioning similar cases in their respective constituencies. In the case of Kantharyar Garden in North Okkalapa Township, there is a statue of Bogyoke [Gen Aung San] riding a horse. The statue has been neglected [since the garden has been turned into an amusement park]. As for Theinbyu sporting ground, the British used it as a shelter in case of disaster. It is not that public spaces are kept with no purpose. It is not that spare lands are named as sport grounds. They have certain purposes.
KZM: For the sake of people?
NPL: Yes, they are very important for the people. Playgrounds and gardens are important. And lakes are also important—they can be used to put out fires and for drinking. [Authorities] only care for money and even sell the lakes, filling them with earth. We have seen many cases. I'm worried that gradually there will not be any public spaces left if no action is taken.
KZM: We have constantly covered this issue. Drawing a conclusion from what Ko Nay Phone Latt has said, it seems that there are many private companies, businesses and restaurants doing business in public spaces. Can you name some of them for public knowledge, Ko Kyaw Phyo Tha?
Kyaw Phyo Tha: There are many of them, but to name a few significant ones in Yangon, the first one is Theinbyu Stadium, which Ko nay Phone Latt has mentioned.
KZM: What is being constructed there?
KPT: A condominium is being constructed there. It is substantially complete. It is a really high building. We don't know who the developer is, but it is almost complete. The second one is Mya Kyun Tha. It was a pure park when we were young. But now, there are construction sites along its two sides and the place no longer looks like a park. Another one is People's Square. Shops are rented there.One of the most striking buildings there is Culture Valley [shopping mall]. Public spaces should be only for members of the public. Mainly, they should be places where the public can exercise, have social gatherings and where children can play freely. As far as we are concerned, amusement centers will be built in Mya Kyun Tha. So, those places are no longer meant for needy people to use?
KZM: Because operators of those amusement centers will charge, right?
KPT: Yes, this has raised question.
KZM: Speaking of Mya Kyun Tha, we have learned that there are eight companies operating on large areas of land there and they have rented the land for 60 years. How can this be solved? Is it easy to claim it back for public use as Ko Nay Phone Latt has proposed? Cronies who have strong ties with the previous government have taken all those places. For example, People's Square houses Yangon Gallery which is said to be owned by the son of army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing. How can the Yangon divisional government and chief minister Ko Phyo Min Thein claim them back through negotiations?
NPL: In my proposal, I mainly urged for two things—one is to prevent commercial use of public spaces in the future, to prevent it by law so that no one can touch public spaces like sports grounds and gardens [for their personal benefits]. Another thing is—as Ko Kyaw Phyo Tha has said—many public spaces have been turned into buildings, and some of them are already established now. I understand that the government has difficulties handling these cases. So, I asked in my proposal to do whatever possible to probe into these cases and give public spaces back to the public.
KZM: Unless those buildings are big, high-rises—such as 20 stories. But if they are just small buildings like 1-story or otherwise, the government should take back the land and give the businessmen another place.
NPL: In my proposal, I said they could take action in line with what is possible. I don't want the Yangon divisional government to be concerned about the cost of demolishing those buildings, but I want them to consider the potential benefits—as far as health, education and socializing—of returning those public spaces to the people. Some [government officials] think it is a waste of money to demolish those buildings. Let it be if they are really high and big structures. But those that are not high should be given back to the public. They have more important value than the monetary value of the buildings built on them.
KZM: They have value to public health and have, in other words, been stolen from the people. Ko Kyaw Phyo Tha, you have talked to urban planning experts. Do you see any means to get them back?
KPT: It is not that gardens and playgrounds are built with no purpose. As Ko Nay Phone Latt has put it, the land that is left after building a town is used as public space, playgrounds or parks. They are designed for the public because people really need them. The government and concerned companies should compensate a place for the people.
KZM: Companies have full responsibility.
KPT: Yes, they do. Green spaces are necessary for a city to achieve systematic development.
KZM: Yangon Chief Minister Ko Phyo Min Thein has told reporters he would rebuild Yangon as a green and people-friendly city. But, he alone can't do this. It concerns the entire divisional government. Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe raised objections when you submitted your proposal. It seems that he thinks that building municipal buildings in public spaces must be accepted. He has a different view.
NPL: When the mayor said so, I immediately responded because this view is potentially dangerous. Public spaces and public areas can't be used in the interest of individuals, organizations or departments. They must be for the public. So, I don't accept the view that it is fair for the Human Settlement and Housing Development Department or municipality to build state-owned buildings in public spaces. That view can't be accepted. If we accept that view, government departments will build offices in public spaces in the future; for example, township administrators might build offices in parks and municipalities on streets. As it is a potentially dangerous concept, I reacted immediately that day.
KZM: The Yangon divisional parliament has approved your proposal with a majority of votes. But if the government can't handle it in short time, what are you planning to do?
NPL: The parliament has a Government Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee. The committee will check if the promises made by the government in response to our proposals are fulfilled. And personally, I'll do checks and balances on it. If nothing happens, I as a lawmaker can ask questions or submit proposals again at the next session of parliament. There is no specific law regarding public spaces in our country. There are some provisions in municipal law that say no one shall build buildings overlooking or overhanging public streets without the approval of the Yangon City Development Committee. It can be interpreted that it could be done if the committee approves. Such provisions should be changed. I am thinking parliament should adopt a law to protect anyone from using public spaces for commercial purposes.
KZM: Not only to mention public spaces, there is no transparency in the business transactions of cronies. Ko Nay Phone Latt, how do you define public spaces?
NPL: I like Singapore's definition of public spaces. They really care about public spaces. They define 'places' as—'P,' for people plus programming. They don't just grow trees in public spaces. They feature programs such as skiing and cycling contests. This practice has become slightly popular in our country—singing songs and playing guitars. 'L' is for lush landscaping. 'A' is for accessibility. Even if there are parks, it is not convenient if parks are not easily accessible. 'C' stands for comfort—those places must enable people to relax comfortably. 'E' means excellence in design—they are designed beautifully to attract passersby.
KZM: They are made to be attractive!
NPL: Yes, attractive designs are incorporated. 'E' also stands for eye for details—it means every detail is considered to engage the people, to attract even the people who do not want to take a rest. 'S' stands for sense of delight—it means public spaces must be able to make people happy. And it also stands for sharing of spaces. We have to learn this and it will be good if we can apply it here.
KZM: Ko Nay Phone Latt, I am afraid we have to wait some time before this happens. Thank you for your contributions.
The post Dateline: 'There Will Not Be Public Spaces Left if Action is Not Taken' appeared first on The Irrawaddy.
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