Myanmar has been a timber producing and exporting country for decades but now this nation has decided to start importing timber in order to protect its diminishing forests. Mr. Kyaw Aw, the Long a timber-producing and exporting country, Myanmar will start importing wood to protect its forests while allowing local timber companies to continue operating, the government has decided. U Kyaw Zaw, Director of the Office of the Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation has stated that a plan permitting the import of raw timber from other countries has been approved. Myanmar stopped exporting timber to other countries earlier in the financial year 2014-15 though logging operations within the country were continued.
For the current financial year, logging has been temporarily banned and domestic demand for timber will be met through existing teak and hardwood stocks. The local timber traders are in favor of importing logs as the existing stock is not going to be sufficient to meet their needs. Additionally, some of the timber bought from other countries is cheaper than the domestically produced logs. Myanmar Government has considered their demands and is willing to import timber from overseas. This ban on logging is only temporary though and is expected to resume in the 2017-18 financial year.
An earthquake rocked Myanmar late at night on 12 April, 2016. It was a strong earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale but as it took place at an intermediate depth of around 140 km not much damage was done. The epicentre was in north-west Mandalay 396 km north of Naypyidaw. The tremors spread throughout the region and were felt as a far as eastern parts of Bangladesh and India. Prince William and his Wife Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are currently visiting Indian state of Assam. The tremors were felt at their place of stay in Kaziranga National Park as well but they are both safe and completely unharmed. Many people in eastern Indian states as a well as Bangladesh fled outside their homes fearing their safety and some were even injured as a result of the damage caused. Some injuries and damage to property has been caused but no deaths have been reported so far.
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If mother of two Sandar Myat Min chooses to have another child, Myanmar’s government could decide when she can become pregnant.
A law enacted last month by the quasi-civilian government allows officials in the Buddhist-majority nation to order women to wait three years between births. Rights groups say the changes, which are backed by ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups, target Muslim women.
“People have their rights regardless of their religion,” said 33-year-old Sandar Myat Min, a Muslim whose youngest daughter is four months old. “If the population were too high like China, I accept that we should control it. But here it’s not like that.”
The law is the first in a series of so-called race and religion protection bills that risk driving a bigger wedge between the faiths, threatening a repeat of sectarian attacks that have flared across Myanmar since the end of junta rule in 2011.
Coming ahead of November’s general election, the changes add to uncertainty for investors, from General Electric Co. to Coca-Cola Co., who are expected to bring $8 billion into the country this fiscal year, up from $1.4 billion when sanctions were eased in 2012.
“The optimism otherwise apparent in the last few years risks being displaced by a feeling that, deep down, not that much has changed in Myanmar,” said Sean Turnell, an associate professor of economics at Macquarie University in Sydney who has advised the U.S. Congress on the country. “These laws add to perceptions of political and social instability. Never good news for investors of course.”