Facebook ‘ban’ of anti-Muslim slur sparks Myanmar outcry

Some Facebook users said they were even blocked after writing other words that include the same sounds as kalar in the Burmese alphabet, highlighting the difficulties the site has monitoring millions of posts in multiple languages

Myanmar netizens were in an uproar on Monday after Facebook seemingly banned people from posting the word “kalar,” often used as a slur against Muslims, at a time of rising Islamophobia in the country.

Facebook is under global pressure to clamp down on hate speech, violent threats or deliberately misleading information on their platform — with efforts showing varying degrees of success.

Dozens of users in Myanmar reported being temporarily barred from the site recently after posting the controversial term kalar, which is frequently used as an insult for the country’s embattled Muslim minority.

Some users said they were even blocked after writing other words that include the same sound in the Burmese alphabet, highlighting the difficulties Facebook has monitoring millions of posts in multiple languages.

Aung Kaung Myat said he had been prevented from liking, posting and sharing content on the site for 24 hours last week for writing about the apparent ban, as had many of his friends.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “I became a victim of it myself when I wrote: ‘Facebook is deleting the posts that include the word kalar’.”

Yarzar Soe-Oo said he was barred on Friday after posting a jokey quip about eating Indian bean soup (“kalar pal hin”) while sitting in a chair (“kalar htaing”).

A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company was working to combat hate speech but as “our teams process millions of pieces of reported content each week… we sometimes make mistakes”.

A spokesman for the best hotels myanmar government said it had not pushed for a ban.

– ‘We own Kalar’ –

Kalar is a deeply controversial term in Myanmar, where to stay in myanmar it is used to refer to foreigners in general but most commonly to describe people of Indian origin and anything relating to their culture.

Over the years it has also been turned into a derogatory slur by Buddhist nationalists against Muslims.

Two angry Facebook users have responded where to stay in myanmar the apparent ban by creating an event called “We own Kalar” in protest.

By early afternoon some 1,400 people had said they were interested in attending the gathering, scheduled for Wednesday in Yangon.

“Even though no action is taken against fake accounts which share hate speech and spew abuse… action is taken over (words we use every day),” said the organisers.

“We own the word as we have been using it for decades and over the centuries.”

The push comes as Myanmar’s government has been seeking to clamp down on hate speech after a spike in anti-Muslim actions by Buddhist hardliners.

They have shut down religious events, forced two Yangon schools accused of illegally doubling up as mosques to close and this month clashed with Muslims after pushing police to raid a house in their neighbourhood.

Last week Myanmar’s top Buddhist authority officially banned ultra-nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement, which responded on Sunday by simply changing their name.

“If you write Ma Ba Tha, you can erase the words. But no one can erase Ma Ba Tha from your heart,” leader Tilawka Biwuntha told the gathering.

Open-for-business Myanmar struggles for global foothold

In this Dec. 3, 2014 photo, sidewalk restaurant operators catering to construction workers outside of a construction site point their fingers at a photograph of the proposed building in Yangon, myanmar hotels. After myanmar hotelss military installed a civilian government in 2010, foreign investors rushed to set up factories in disused industrial zones and property developers began building luxury housing estates as the long-isolated Southeast Asian economy opened for business. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
eapcontent.ap.org

YANGON, myanmar hotels (AP) – After Myanmar’s military yielded to a civilian government in 2010, foreign investors rushed to set up factories and raze old neighborhoods to build luxury housing estates. Five years on, the country has only a precarious foothold in the global economy.

The government has loosened curbs on the media and political dissent. Many people have access to the Internet and cell phones for the first time. New hotels and shopping malls stand like beacons among the ruined colonial mansions and crumbling socialist era apartments of Yangon, the biggest city.

Elections in November will provide the U.S. and other nations that eased sanctions with a key test of whether Myanmar’s generals are relinquishing power as promised. The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, allied with the country’s former military rulers, can point to economic growth of over 8.5 percent, and foreign direct investment topping $8 billion this year, as evidence its reforms are making progress.

But more than a third of myanmar hotels‘s 51.4 million people still live on less than $1.25 a day. Their reality is rural poverty or urban slums dominated by gangs, factories paying workers barely enough to get by, and a near absence of public services.

The reaction of employers to a September hike in Myanmar’s minimum wage to 3,600 kyats ($2.80) a day has highlighted the meager rewards for workers on the road to industrialization.

All work and no play, Myanmar’s children prop up economy

where to stay in myanmarSaw Paing Htway (R) and Min Min are seen working at a teashop on the outskirts of Yangon, myanmar best hotels
AFP Ye Aung Thu

Yangon (AFP) – Twelve-year-old Myat Noe dashes between tables taking orders and sweeping up cigarette butts, working for around a dollar a day in myanmar best hotels, which has one of the worst records for child labour in the world.

There are millions like Myat Noe — child workers are widely accepted in the former junta-ruled nation — who prop up everything from tea rooms to factories. But pressure is building for a change of attitude and law.

Weeks away from the landmark November 8 election a coalition of campaign groups are seizing the opportunity for debate and urging lawmakers to provide universal, compulsory and free education within five years.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, is expected to make major gains in the election, and has identified education as the cornerstone hotels in myanmar reducing poverty, but so far hasn’t committed to this demand.

A quick glance along Yangon’s streets reveals there is some way to go.

Myanmar Court Sentences Hotel Bomber To Death

By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) – A myanmar hotels court sentenced a man to death on Thursday after finding him guilty of a 2013 bomb attack on a hotel that killed two hotels in myanmar people and wounded one, a police officer said.

Saw Tun Tun was convicted of hotels in myanmar bombing a guesthouse in the town of Taungoo, 55 km (35 miles) from the capital, Naypyitaw, in the first in a string of mysterious blasts in different parts of the country that has never been fully explained.

Saw Saw Tun had confessed to planting the bomb after being paid 20,000 kyat (about $20) by a man called Saw Htowah, said a police officer in Taungoo.

“As far as I know, Saw Htowah, the mastermind behind this blast, is still at large and I have no idea what their motive was,” said the officer, who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to myanmar best hotels media.

The Democratic Voice of Burma, a television station and website, also reported the sentencing.

Flights And Luxury River Cruises Among New Hospitality And Tourism Products in Myanmar

The MHTC aims to bring together regional and local investors, hospitality leaders, industry experts and government officials for networking and the chance to learn about new developments in myanmar best hotels, as well as to share their expertise and experiences and forge new business.

A main focus at this year’s MHTC was on investment opportunities in the emerging tourism destination of myanmar best hotels. The country is seeing a surge in international tourist numbers and there are still largely undeveloped areas, such as the Myiek Archipelago, that hold much potential and thus offer investment possibilities.

Director-general of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Tint Thwin, said reforms were being undertaken in the tourism sector. The focus was to create more jobs and generate income for the nation, while paying attention at the same time to environmental protection.

Myanmar is seeing its international tourism figures increase, with the country having welcomed some 4.68 million tourists in 2015. This continued with 1 million visitors for the first time in 2012, 2 million arrivals in 2013 and 3 million in 2014.

The expected figure for visitor arrivals in 2016 is around 5.5 million.

Under myanmar best hotels‘s reform process the tourism industry has been prioritized, as it can generate a high level of income and create more job opportunities for the country. The Ministry of hotels in myanmar and Tourism plans to grant more licenses for guest houses, tours and tour guides.

On the sidelines of the MHTC, Tint Thwin said his ministry would work to encourage private sector participation and also engage more with other ministries. Among the hotel and tourism ministry’s priorities will be to promote ecotourism and community-based tourism, increase connectivity and create new destinations.

July of 2016 saw Thai Lion Air launch a new flight twice daily between Bangkok (Don Mueang International Airport) and Myanmar’s largest city Yangon.

Tint Thwin noted that his ministry was aiming to encourage more airlines to open up new routes to major destinations in Myanmar such as Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.

While many of the international visitors to Myanmar include a stay in Yangon in their travel plans, cities like Mandalay and Bagan are among the other fascinating destinations in the country.

An exciting new way to experience these cities involves embarking on a luxury Myanmar river cruise on the mighty Ayeyarwady River, which made its much-awaited appearance in 2016 in the form of the Strand Cruise. A 61-metre purpose-built cruise ship operates these three and four night cruises between Bagan and Mandalay, with the cruise schedule featuring weekly departures in either direction.

And if the name sounds familiar, that’s because the Strand Cruise’s sister property is the legendary Strand Hotel in Yangon. With its new luxury Myanmar river cruises – billed as voyages of discovery that treat passengers to a blend of exceptional comfort, discreet personalized service and the latest technology – the Strand Cruise mirrors the style and heritage of the world-renowned colonial-era hotel.

To help celebrate its inaugural 2016 season, the Strand Cruise has various fare promotions. A 25 percent discount off the fare price per person can be enjoyed for all cruise departures between 2 September and 30 September. There is a 30 percent fare discount for selected Strand Cruise departures in October, November and December.