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MPs returned to Parliament in Burma’s capital Naypyidaw
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Naval officers of nine ASEAN members vowed to cooperate for disaster relief, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday. At the 8th ASEAN Navy Chiefs Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, officers discussed peace and security issues. Thailand’s navy proposed beginning joint naval exercises, while other members recommended formulating a handbook for dealing with disaster and rescue missions. Laos did not send a delegation to the meeting.
Bilateral trade between Canada and ASEAN reached US$16.5 billion in fiscal year 2013, state media reported on Thursday. Citing Canada’s Minister of International Trade, in Burma for the 3rd ASEAN Economic Ministers Summit in Naypyidaw, The New Light of Myanmar said that bilateral trade is growing by more than seven percent each year. Stock of Canadian direct investments in ASEAN increased by 34 percent to $5.7 billion, the report said.
Five employees of the now-defunct Unity Weekly journal submitted an appeal to Magwe regional court on Thursday, in a final attempt to overturn a sentence of ten years in prison with hard labour. Four reporters and the CEO of the paper were convicted in July of violating Burma’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act after they published an investigative report about an alleged secret chemical weapons facility in central Burma. The case has garnered international attention for what many see as a lopsided punishment designed to intimidate journalists.
Burma’s government has announced that users of unlicensed motorbikes will be arrested and charged 50 percent of the market value of the bike. It said the penalty would act as a fee or a tax, and would thereafter qualify the motorbike owner to apply for a regional license and registration. Non-payment will result in the motorcycle being impounded and auctioned, state media said.
Burma’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur has rejected allegations in The New Strait Times that Burmese workers hurled stones and set fire to cars at a factory in Kulaijaya in the south of the country, saying instead that the workers involved were Nepalese.
The Burmese women’s U-19 team beat Singapore 5-0 on Tuesday to take third place at the ASEAN Football Federation's Under-19 Women’s Championships in Thailand. The Thai women’s team won the competition with a 5-3 victory over Vietnam in the final.
Nearly half of Burma’s registered companies filed income tax documents this year, according to a senior tax official. The Internal Revenue Department announced a 30 June deadline to declare all assets, with penalties for late submissions. Despite the announcements published in state media, many companies filed two months past the deadline while others simply didn’t file at all. Last year, income tax in Rangoon alone generated about 710 billion kyat (US$710 million).
Several hydro-power projects initiated by Burma’s former ruling junta have been indefinitely stopped, according to Deputy Minister of Electric Power Maw Thar Htwe. Speaking to reporters in Shan State on 23 August, the deputy minister said that two dams in Arakan State, one in Kachin State and another in Tenasserim Division have been halted because they are no longer relevant. He added that the ministry is seeking new partners to develop some other unspecified hydro projects.