Despite the GNLM reports, all is not well in Myanmar as the economy continues to tank.

In a continuation of its policy of pretending that life in Myanmar is carrying on as normal, the Global New Light of Myanmar carried this as its main story today.

I.S.P.E player joins YUFC for two-year term.

Yangon United recently stated that National Team midfielder and I.S.P.E star player Lwin Moe Aung has joined the football squad with a 2-year contract.
The youth star player expressed his hope upon joining the football club.
“I am very proud to join Yangon United and watch me how I will work for this club. You will see the best of me than previous Lwin Moe Aung. Yangon could not hold the trophy last year and I will work hard to be the Champions for this amazing club,” said Lwin Moe Aung.

Source GNLM 6th March 2021.

They followed this with a lovely article from the bureaucracy.

The Ministry of Commerce organized a virtual coordination meeting over rice purchasing for 2020-2021 FY yesterday.
During the meeting, Union Minister Dr Pwint San discussed the paddy purchasing processes based on annual reference prices for paddy, set of the reference price for 100 baskets of paddy at K520,000 this year, purchase of more than 290,000 baskets of monsoon paddy in Yangon and Ayeyawady Regions in the last October and November and further work plans of paddy and rice purchasing supervisory committees of regions and states for summer paddy.

Source GNLM 6th March 2021

No mention of how they are going to get the rice to market when the transport system is boycotted by its workers or how payment is going to be affected when the banks are non-functioning.

Meanwhile, back in the real world…

An Israeli-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar’s junta said on Saturday that the generals are keen to leave politics after their coup and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China.

Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli military intelligence official who has previously represented Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Sudan’s military rulers, said Myanmar’s generals also want to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

In a telephone interview, Ben-Menashe said he and his firm Dickens & Madson Canada had been hired by Myanmar’s generals to help communicate with the United States and other countries who he said “misunderstood” them.

He said Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader since 2016, had grown too close to China for the generals’ liking.
“There’s a real push to move towards the West and the United States as opposed to trying to get closer to the Chinese,” Ben-Menashe said. “They don’t want to be a Chinese puppet.”

Ben-Menashe said he was speaking from South Korea after a visit to Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw, where he signed an agreement with the junta’s defense minister, General Mya Tun Oo. He said he would be paid an undisclosed fee if sanctions on the military are lifted.
He said that on his two visits to the country since the coup, “disturbances weren’t that widespread” and the protest movement was not supported by most Myanmar people.

Ben-Menashe said police were handling protests, not the military, despite photos and video footage of armed soldiers at the demonstrations. He argued that the military was best placed to oversee a return to democracy after the coup it staged.
“They want to get out of politics completely,” he said, “but it’s a process.”

Source Reuters 6th March 2021.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on this. If the Generals are so strong why do they need to do this and what game are they playing? Most of their arms come from China. Now let’s try and get back to the real world.

Western business groups, namely European, American, British, Italian and French chambers of commerce, rejected the regime’s invitation to meet on March 4. At the same time, major Asian business groups such as the Thai, Hong Kong, Japanese and Chinese have not released any statements of concern since the coup and lethal crackdown on protesters.

The Western chambers’ refusal comes at a time of widespread and rising condemnation against the regime’s brutal crackdown on unarmed protesting civilians, with more than 50 killed as of March 3, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an independent monitoring group.

Australian business group AustCham Myanmar said on Wednesday it has “serious concern over the increasing use of violence against the people campaigning for a return to democratic Government in Myanmar.”

A Myanmar-focused journalist and analyst, who requested anonymity, said “Private businesses have a crucial role to play at this time. Both local and foreign businesses which have ties to the two military conglomerates should sever the links.”

Various foreign businesses have created joint ventures with the military-run Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC). Japanese beer giant Kirin has exited its tie-up with MEC since the coup.

Many local businesses have been openly supportive of the anti-military movement. These include leading retailer City Mart, which recently returned already stocked beer produced by the Myanmar military. It has since refused to stock Myanmar military-brewed beer.

Small vendors have also refused to sell military brands while many business owners have looked the other way so workers can participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement. More than 160 companies, 115 local and 47 international including multinational firms such as Coca-Cola, Facebook, Telenor and Heineken, signed a joint statement to express “growing and deep concern the developments in Myanmar since the declaration of a state of emergency on 1st February.”

Source Asia Times 6th March 2021

The economic boycotts and stay at home policy is biting now and the Generals are getting a little worried. Watch this space.

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Life Goes on as Normal (According to Some)

Brought up in a far-left coal mining community and came to NZ when the opportunity arose. Made a career working for blue-chip companies both here and overseas. Developed a later career working on business...