Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bubbles: House Prices In Australia Are Soaring Again!

             (Peter Martin’s article from the ABC NEWS AUSTRALIA on April 14, 2021.) 

House prices in Australia are soaring, but not because there aren't enough homes: It's tempting to think home prices are soaring because there aren't enough homes.

But that can't explain the sudden take-off from about the year 2000, the sudden take-off from about 2013, and again now — against expectations — the stratospheric take-off in the wake of the COVID recession.

Broadly, we've enough homes. The 2016 census found we had 12 per cent more dwellings than households, up from 10 per cent in 2001. That's 12 per cent of our houses and apartments empty — used as holiday homes and second homes, or waiting for tenants.

If there really weren’t enough homes for people who wanted them, it would be more than property prices soaring; it would be rents. Instead, overall rents have been barely moving – growing even more slowly than wages – for half a decade.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Russia & China Supporting Burmese Military Coup!

               (Staff article from the ABC NEWS AUSTRALIA on April 2, 2021.) 

EU accuses Russia and China of blocking united response to Myanmar military coup: Russia and China are hampering a united international response to Myanmar's military coup, the European Union's top diplomat says.

China and Russia are the two biggest suppliers of military arms to Myanmar; The UN Security Council has stopped short of condemning the coup; The EU is preparing new sanctions on individuals and companies owned by the Myanmar military.

"It comes as no surprise that Russia and China are blocking the attempts of the UN Security Council, for example, to impose an arms embargo," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a blog post on Sunday. "Geopolitical competition in Myanmar will make it very difficult to find common ground," said Mr Borrell, who speaks on behalf of the 27 EU member states. "But we have a duty to try."

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Allegra Mendelson In Burma With CNN?

             (Allegra Mendelson’s article from the WASHINGTON POST on April 9, 2021.) 

My unusual week with Myanmar’s violent, paranoid military junta:

YANGON, Myanmar — "Why don't you come see for yourself?" asked the foreign lobbyist who had recently been hired by Myanmar's new military junta. Ari Ben-Menashe and I had been speaking for a separate article I was writing on Southeast Asian nations’ involvement in Myanmar.

Working for the military regime that ousted the elected government in February, he belittled the size of anti-coup protests and said he wanted me to see the situation firsthand. I was skeptical but intrigued by the proposal — and it was the only way a foreign reporter could get into Myanmar.

Ben-Menashe, a Canadian-Israeli public relations operative, is known for representing regimes no one else will touch, including those of onetime Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe and Sudan’s new military leaders.

A few days later, after I sent over a copy of my passport, he called to say my request had been submitted to the “highest of levels” of Myanmar’s military regime. By March 25, I had a ­single-entry business visa, and would become one of four Western journalists to participate in the junta’s first attempt at international outreach since the coup.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Massacre In Bago (Pegu) City: 60+ Killed

                 (Staff article from the MYANMARNOW on April 9, 2021.) 

Large numbers feared dead in Bago as soldiers crush protest stronghold: It has not been possible to confirm the number of fatalities yet but locals fear it could be in the dozens and say soldiers were ‘shooting at every moving shadow’.

The junta’s armed forces crushed a key protest stronghold in Bago’s Ma-Ga-Dit road in a pre-dawn attack on Friday resulting in what locals feared could be dozens of deaths, though it has not been possible to verify the exact number. 

Heavy shelling with Belgium-made Energa rifle grenades was carried out at 4:30 this morning against Magga Fort, the main stronghold of Bago, and continued until around 10 pm tonight.

Soldiers have been stationed at the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound in the town and have taken dead bodies inside, Ye Htut, a protest group leader, told Myanmar Now based on his conversations with eyewitnesses. There could be at least 57 dead bodies piled inside the pagoda compound as well as three bodies at a local morgue and one that was cremated immediately, the witnesses told him.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Min Aung Hlaing: No Ramos But Gaddafi Or Saddam

Min Aung Haing right now is playing a very-high-stake game gambling away his life, his children’s and grand-children’s lives. It seems like he is just foolishly protecting his short term interest without really thinking about his long term prospect of losing people’s love and respect which he obviously enjoyed last ten years.

For a decade I and many other Burmese exiles overseas were expecting him to become like Phillipines’s General Ramos, who – as the Vice-Chief-of-Staff of Philippines Armed Forces during the 1986 People Power Revolution in Philippines – broke away from President Marcos’s Administration and supported Corazon Aquino, and eventually became the Twelfth President of The Republic of Philippines.

What Min Aung Hlaing had to do to become Burma’s Ramos was just accept the people’s will, reform the hated 2008 Constitution, marched his troops back to the barracks, keep the army as a professional institution, and stay well away from the politics. He could even become a president of Union of Burma in a very near future like Ramos.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Aung San Suu Kyi Urges Burmese People to Resist

                      (Staff article from the IRRAWADDY on February 1, 2021.)

I can rely only on the people.
Myanmar’s leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the public to fully oppose the military coup staged on Monday February 1, 2021.

In a statement released on the “Chair NLD” (National League for Democracy) Facebook page hours after she and others were detained by the armed forces, she said the military’s action completely disregarded the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was an attempt to reimpose dictatorship upon the country.

“I urge people not to accept the coup by the military, and resist it resoundingly,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in the statement. It appeared the statement had been prepared in advance as a message to the public in the event of a military takeover.

“At the time [you are] reading this [statement], the military has abolished the elected Parliament and government for which the public unanimously voted, ignoring the Constitution they themselves drafted,” she said. Saying that previous coups had impoverished the country, NLD patron U Win Htein said the coup would take the country “back to zero”.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Arrested, Tortured, & Killed For Giving Interview To CNN

                     (Phone Ngal’s posts from her Face Book pages on February 4, 2021.)

The brave Burmese woman was taken away,
tortured, and probably killed.
The poor girl just went out for a snack in Mingaladon Bazzar near her house. And unknowingly ran into the CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward who had been in Rangoon here for three whole days after invited by the newest Burmese dictator General MAH through his 2-million-dollar-man Israeli lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe.

Probably the Burmese girl didn’t know she was the famous CNN reporter, if she did she would have her mouth shut and immediately run away, and she honestly answered a few questions from the CNN reporter. She was just replying to the questions from a white-woman-stranger as any decent English-speaking Burmese girl would do politely with respect.

But the horrifying result was that her family home was immediately raided by the Burmese security forces and she was arrested and then taken away to the notorious Shwe-pyi-thar Interrogation Center. Her parents, apparently also from the Military as the township is an army cantonment township, followed them to the Center but were not even allowed to see their young daughter.

Why Burmese Army Will Never Give Up The Power?

          (Retd. General Tin Aung Myint Oo’s post from SWAR TAY LAN’s Facebook pages.)

When first NLD Government came into power in 2015 they had no money in their hands. So they went around the world with cups in their hands and managed to beg about US$ 100 million from the international community.

But after the Arakan Crisis and the displacement of so-called Rohingyas (or Bengalis as Burmese love to call them) most of that aid money from the international community were withdrawn and the result was the struggling civilian government trying to develop the country on their own.

But the military was doing well as usual despite the EU’s economic sanctions, for the military is sitting nicely on at least US$ 80 billion worth of economic and commercial assets and earning massive profits from those assets. I knew very well since I was always visiting the Auditor-General office to have a cup-of-tea there.

In Burmese currency those assets were worth Kyat 108 trillion (at 1200 Kyat/US$ exchange rate). Our union government revenue annually was only Kyat 5 trillion. The Tatmadaw (military) is much, much richer than the union government which is supposed to fund the military from government budget.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

A Parallel Government (CRPH) Emerges Post-Coup

             (Larry Jagan’s opinion post from theBANGKOK POST on 31 March 2021.)

Myanmar's elected parliamentarians are openly challenging the country's coup leaders by declaring a parallel civilian government in the next few days. The timing corresponds with the official end of the current elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

They are also planning to establish a parallel administration throughout the country, challenging the military's coercive structures. One of the key intentions is to challenge the military's legitimacy and credibility internationally and make the country ungovernable.

"We're almost there," Zin Mar Aung, a National League for Democracy (NLD) MP, who is the acting foreign minister in the CRPH or Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (the national parliament). "An interim unity government of Myanmar will be formed and launched around the end of the month."