Ploughing ceremony sorcerers predict good harvests, rising GNP, flourishing stock market and ice-cream and cake for everyone. Which is the same prediction as last year, and the year before and the year before that etc. The Ploughing ceremony is a fine example of “Thainess” (which is a term invented by government bureaucrats to denote whatever dull thing they like). Public apathy for the event would seem to be increasing because nobody in Bangkok knows what a “plough” is, and nobody, including the Reuters correspondent, can remember what “oxen” were for.
Burmese Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein has vowed to address urgently electricity shortages and squatting, the two main hurdles that the private sector says are holding back the city’s manufacturing potential. He noted that Yangon was home to a large number of squatters because it draws hundreds of thousands of migrant workers each year. Low-cost housing in the city cannot cope with the migration and some workers cannot afford the rents being charged. He said that some of these people were indeed workers at industrial zones.
The world's largest disinformation company, television giant CNN, teamed up Friday with the Burmese crony-owned telecommunications company SkyNet, less than a month after the firm was implicated in a government bribery scandal. It is hoped that the partnership will form a private sector backbone for Burma's new Ministry of Truth. A spokesman told us that they will launch a 24-hour Burmese-language news network called Channel One and that the “R” word will be forbidden on the new channel. The “R” word has be used to denote an non-existent ethnic Muslim minority that do not live in the East of the country.
Sect followers started a campaign Wednesday to "seek justice" for a monk who faces charges of money laundering and receiving stolen property. It was decided to press charges against a monk after its investigation into the embezzlement case found more than 20 cashier's cheques worth more than 2 billion baht. The monk has repeatedly failed to comply with summonses to meet officials to acknowledge the charges.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi presented the newly arrived US ambassador, Scot A. Marciel, with a copy of the newly revised Burmese newspeak dictionary. The dictionary, which was originally published in 1984, does not contain the word “Rohingya”. The Burmese government is ademant that the “Rohingya” do not exist, and to think that they do is considered thoughtcrime in the new Democracy.
Many nationalist Buddhists reject the name Rohingya and call them Bengalis, implying that they are interlopers from Bangladesh, a position also taken by the former military government. The United States Embassy recently drew criticism for using the word Rohingya in a statement expressing condolences for the deaths of at least 20 people whose boat capsized on April 19 off the coast of Rakhine.
Editors note: We would like to have photo of Suu Kyi with the new Ambassador but there isn't one. We wonder why that is?
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phetchaburi Office will be organizing a Mud Festival in May. Local residents are concerned that the venue for this event looks exactly like a sewage plant. According to TAT “Visitors can experience the local ways of life of Ban Laem community people and enjoy plenty of local fun games and entertainment such as mud sea boxing competition, mud sea slide competition, a tug-of-war in the mud, experience mud spa treatment, enjoy the showcase of human mud sculptures and many more”.
There is a growing fear that what they will be splashing about in will not be mud.
TAT would neither confirm or deny that the event will be opened by Mr Dingle.
An anti-Muslim activist has been arrested for posting a provocative statement on Facebook about Burma's army commander and the country's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of a Buddhist nationalist group and a human rights lawyer said Thursday.
Nay Myo Wai, of Yangon based Peace and Diversity Party, was arrested Wednesday after a complaint was filed against him for a Facebook posting falsely claiming that army commander Min Aung Hliang had not seized power because he wanted to marry Suu Kyi.
GCHQ in England has been listening in on private telephone conversations for three decades. Snowden revealed the extent of Internet surveillance three years ago. A snotty 13 year old is capable of hacking a facebook account. Thailand has a military Government, but “Junta critics were struck with paranoia over the security of Facebook this week, with some fearing authorities had gained the ability to access accounts”.
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