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U Soe Myint, founder of Mizzima Media

Soe Myint in his Yangon office. Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)
Soe Myint in his Yangon office. Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)

In a statement issued on January 28, Mizzima Media Group editor-in-chief and managing director U Soe Myint announced the closure of Mizzima Dailynewspaper from the end of this month and its replacement by a digital edition. The newspaper was among 16 dailies launched after the government began issuing daily licences in April 2013, of which four have since closed in what is a challenging market. The launch of Mizzima Daily followed the return to Myanmar in 2012 of U Soe Myint and his team from New Delhi, where Mizzima began as an “exile media” organisation in 1998, with websites in Myanmar and English. U Soe Myint spoke to Mizzima Weekly’s Tim McLaughlin.

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Burma Lost & Found

Burma-Lost-and-Found
 

Marek Lenarcik will publish his second book Burma Lost &Found: Three years living my dream job in the travel industry in Rangoon and beyond” in March 2015. His first; This is Thailand: A story of love, sex, and betrayal in the tropics was published in English in 2013 after becoming a bestseller in its category in his native Poland. In advance of the publication, he answered questions from Mizzima’s Matt Roebuck.

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Professor Robin Grimes, nuclear energy specialist

Professor-Robin-Grimes
 

Professor Robin Grimes is Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College, London, and principal investigator of the Research Council’s UK nuclear fission consortium project. Professor Grimes has been visiting Myanmar in his role as chief scientific adviser to Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He spoke to Mizzima’s Matt Roebuck about science diplomacy and why this is the perfect time for him to visit Myanmar.

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Cardinal-elect Charles Maung Bo

Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)/Mizzima
Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)/Mizzima

Archbishop of Yangon Charles Maung Bo was among 20 new cardinals whose appointments were announced by Pope Francis on January 4. The appointment of Myanmar’s first cardinal followed celebrations last November marking the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Catholicism in Myanmar. A special papal envoy who attended the celebrations praised the organisation of the anniversary, saying it was a “marvellous experience”.

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Ma Khin Ohmar, activist and Burma Partnership coordinator

Ma Khin Ohmar in her Yangon office. Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)
Ma Khin Ohmar in her Yangon office. Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)

After the change of government in 2011, President U Thein Sein invited members of the Myanmar diaspora to return home. In August 2012, more than 2,000 people, including dissidents and foreign activists, were removed from a government blacklist. Many returnees hold foreign passports and have encountered difficulties caused mainly by unclear policy and visa application procedures. Among them is veteran activist Ma Khin Ohmar, a founder and coordinator of the human rights organisation, Burma Partnership. In a wide-ranging interview, Ma Khin Ohmar spoke with Mizzima’s Portia Larlee about seeking political asylum in the United States, activism on the Thai-Myanmar border and her struggle to acquire a visa in Myanmar.

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Daw-Nang-Lang-Kham-director-KBZ-Group
 

Daw Nang Lang Kham, director KBZ Group

KBZ Group is one of the largest groups of companies in Myanmar, comprising, among other ventures, Air KBZ and Kanbawza Bank. The group, founded by U Aung Ko Win in 1994, employs more than 80,000 people and is leading the Internal Revenue Department’s list of top tax paying companies. Mizzima spoke to director Daw Nang Lang Kham about the role of women in business and the challenges the banking sector and KBZ will face in 2015.