CLIMBING Everest climbers call for new insurance laws
LIFE insurance from a Myanmar company just doesn’t go high enough for Ko Win Ko Ko. Along with Ko Pyae Phyo Aung and Ko Nyi Nyi Aung, he conquered Everest last May. But he had to get insurance from a local Nepali company first.
The mountaineer was speaking at a ceremony held yesterday in honour of the three at the Ministry of Health and Sports in Nay Pyi Taw, attended by Union minister U Myint Htwe.
“Climbers from more than 90 countries have scaled the world’s highest peak, proving their strength and their ability to surmount the most difficult conditions in nature. I am proud that Myanmar has joined those countries,” said the minister, awarding the three climbers K1 million each.
But Ko Win Ko Ko said joining those countries was made particularly difficult by Myanmar’s nebulous life insurance laws.
“Life insurance in Myanmar doesn’t cover people who work abroad, except for seafarers,” Ko Win Ko Ko told reporters at the ceremony. “Mountaineers need coverage to climb Everest, so we bought insurance in Nepal and became members of Global Rescue. It would be better if athletes like us were eligible to take out life insurance locally.”
The climber also suggested that expensive mountaineering equipment, which was mostly imported, should be available at reduced rates of tax.
Ko Win Ko Ko, Ko Pyae Phyo Aung and Ko Nyi Nyi Aung, members of the Technical Climbing Club of Myanmar, reached the 29,000-foot (8848-metre) summit of Mt Everest on May 19.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe