Last week in Nay Pyi Taw
Upper House reps call for preventive measures on landslide at jade mines
Upper House MPs discussed a motion on November 7 calling for measures on the prevention of landslides of dumped soil from jade mines in Hpakant in Kachin State.
An MP said although there are 11 sites designated for waste soil from jade mines, some companies continue piling soil at mining sites.
Another representative noted the lack of law enforcement at jade mines.
Some MPs also called for the government to enact a law allowing citizens to conduct gem mining at manageable levels, saying that measures for environmental conservation should be taken at gem mines..
Govt’s peace negotiator optimistic NLD would fully implement NCA
Union Minister U Aung Min told the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on December 7 in the statement of non-signa- tories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement that the incoming government would be able to implement the peace process more successfully, as the remaining ethnic armed groups which did not sign in NCA would cooperate with the new government.
He also said that the government held talks with 16 armed groups first and then the number of armed groups increased from 16 to 21 but the present administration has further opened the way for the remaining armed groups to join.
Myanmar jades goes on sale
Raw and cut jade were sold at the Maniyadana Jade Hall in Nay Pyi Taw on December 6. More than 150 raw jade lots and 6,826 pieces of cut jade attracted local and foreign merchants.
Myanmar official revenue from jade exports from 2011 to 2014 was US$1.3 billion, while Harvard University’s Ash Center estimates total jade sales – includ-
ing through unofficial channels – was $8bn in 2011 alone, suggesting most of the revenue does not go into government coffers.
According to 1995 Gems Law, a 30 percent commercial tax for the export of raw gem stone and 10 percent commercial tax for the export of finished gem products are collected. However, if the raw gem stones are sold domestically in Myanmar kyat, no tax is collected.
Shwe Mann meets Aung San Suu Kyi again after Nov 8 elections
Union Parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann and National League for Democracy (NLD) party chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi held a meeting at the speaker’s office on December 7, as the winning party in the November 8 election prepares to set up its government.
After the recent landmark election, the two leaders have met frequently. This was their eighth meeting.
Negotiators for the government and an ethnic armed group on December 8 agreed to pull back their forces from a flashpoint highway.
After the withdrawal of troops from the route linking the garrison town of Mong Nawng in Kyethi Township, both sides will relocate an estimated 10,000 displaced civilians to their homes.
The Union Peacemaking Work Committee and the Shan State Progressive Party agreed on November 24to implement the six points of a provisional agreement.
Under the agreements of December 8, the government troops will pull back from south of the key route, while the SSPP will withdraw its fighters to the north.
The SSPP, a member of the United Nationalities Federal Council, is one of the ethnic armed groups which did not sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement with the government on October 15.
Peace negotiators agree on initial withdrawal of troops