Volunteer networks and cross-border ethnic and family ties have ensured a refuge for thousands who’ve fled overland to India’s Mizoram state, but some long to return to Myanmar to rejoin the anti-coup struggle.
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Thin Lei Win left Myanmar during her teens and has worked as a journalist in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, among others. In February this year, she returned to the country to help set up Myanmar Now, a press agency supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation that produces stories in English and Myanmar. She spoke to Frontier about what the organisation can add to Myanmar’s media landscape and the future of journalism in the country.
Yathar Cho Industry leads the instant noodle market in Myanmar with its popular Yum Yum brand. When the second wave of investment begins after the elections foreign competitors will challenge the frontrunner. Frontier asked Yathar Cho Industry managing director U Wai Phyo, who is also vice-president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, about reform, economic pessimism and Yum Yum’s flood relief.
Christina Win is the owner of Yangon Green Furniture. It is one of the few companies in Yangon making furniture from recycled and reclaimed timber and focusing on the domestic market. When Christina Win returned to Myanmar after living in Thailand, Israel, Australia and Singapore, she found it difficult to buy the furniture she wanted for her apartment. Trained as a jewellery designer, she began designing furniture in 2013 and the next year opened Yangon Green Furniture in a house built by her grandparents in Mayangone Township. Christina Win spoke to Frontier about her decision to use reclaimed timber, the challenges she faces in the market and the future of eco-friendly products in Myanmar.
Bo Bo Entertainment is a household name in the Myanmar music industry. The company organises events and concerts, produces merchandise and records and promotes superstars like Thar Thar, Ye Yint Aung and Mi Sandi. But not all is well in the music industry. Frontier talked with managing director Bo San about piracy, the new Copyright Law, shrinking market volumes and foreign investors lurking in the background.
U Shwe Maung has been a rare advocate for the Rohingya in the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party since being elected to the lower house seat of Buthidaung in northern Rakhine State in 2010. Earlier this month, he announced his intention to cut ties with the USDP and contest the November 8 election as an independent.
Rohingya politician and human rights activist Abu Taher is no rookie. He ran for parliament for the National Democratic Party for Development in the 2010 elections and won the Upper House seat for Buthidaung, Rakhine State. But the Union Election Commission accused him of breaking campaigning laws, and after a grueling, year-long appeal process his opponent from the Union Solidarity and Development Party was finally awarded the seat.