What you need to know about the coup in Myanmar

first_imgThe 2008 constitution, drawn up by the junta before it launched a democratic transition a decade ago, reserves a quarter of the legislature for its personnel. It also allows the military to hold three key ministries — defense, border affairs and home affairs — and appoint a vice president. Since it requires more than 75 percent of votes to make changes to the constitution, the military also wields veto power. In essence, the military already held a winning hand before the coup.  Yet whatever the failings of the Suu Kyi government — and there are quite a few — a military coup is not the answer. “If it stands, the military’s seizure of power will not only upend Myanmar’s slow and difficult democratic transition but also could lead to deadly violence,” the International Crisis Group said.   Around the world, some are rejoicing at Suu Kyi’s detention because of her treatment of the Rohingya. But Myanmar is more than Suu Kyi. It is a country of 51 million people, many of whom are hard-working and decent, and deserve to live without a constant fear of the army.   The NLD government was too pliant to curb the military’s influence and power. Suu Kyi publicly expressed her affection for the military, which was founded by her father Aung San, considered a hero of independence from colonial rule. After the military conducted “clearance operations” in Rakhine State in 2017, driving more than 740,000 mostly Muslim Rohingya to Bangladesh in a wave of violence, she traveled to The Hague to vigorously defend charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice. That was probably the final nail in the public relations coffin for Suu Kyi, formerly a beacon of hope for democracy activists around the world.   Given all this, we hoped the army would prefer to leave the messy work of governing to a civilian government that would take the international flak for its actions. But Suu Kyi’s words and actions were clearly not enough fealty for the army. The junta now says it will establish a “genuine discipline flourishing multi-party democratic system,” a term as meaningless as it is a mouthful.   Some say General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief, did not want to take mandatory retirement — and relinquish the powers and protections that come with the position — when he turns 65 later this year.   When Suu Kyi’s NLD took power in 2016, the transition did little to weaken the military’s control of the levers of power or introduce civilian oversight.  Myanmar’s electoral system is deeply flawed — first-past-the-post does not reflect the diversity of the country, and malapportionment is rife. There was widespread disenfranchisement of ethnic voters and parties in the November polls.   Nearly half a century of ruling a country strategically wedged between China and India — and abundant in precious stones and natural gas — has also greatly benefited the military. A 2019 report by the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar detailed, for the first time, a vast web of companies the Tatmadaw controls and relies on, from construction, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing to insurance, tourism and banking.   Companies owned and influenced by military leaders hold licenses for lucrative jade and ruby mining in Kachin and Shan states in Myanmar’s north and east. While the opening of the country in the past decade has ushered in a more diverse, socially minded group of entrepreneurs, they haven’t made too much of a dent in the army’s economic interests.    There is plenty of speculation as to why the army chose to move now, but few concrete explanations for its motivations.  Others point to the humiliating defeat suffered by the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the recent elections, and contend that the prospect of electoral oblivion alarmed the military because it would destroy a key path for ex-generals to continue to rule, albeit in civilian clothing.   What a difference five years makes. In 2016, Myanmar convened its first democratically-elected Parliament. Suu Kyi, in a pink outfit with flowers in her hair, was pictured smiling as she sat in the cavernous legislative chamber, a sea of brand-new lawmakers sitting behind her.  Thin Lei Win is a Burmese journalist living in Europe. She is the founder and former chief correspondent of the bilingual news agency Myanmar Now, and cofounder of the non-profit storytelling project The Kite Tales.    In the early hours of Monday, February 1, just before the opening session of a new parliament, soldiers rounded up Myanmar’s civilian leadership from their homes in Naypyitaw, the Southeast Asian nation’s purpose-built capital, shattering 10 years of democratic hope in a single morning.   Worse, the coup is coming in the middle of a pandemic in a country with a threadbare health care infrastructure and suffering its worst economic crisis in decades.   For many Burmese, including myself, there’s an unwelcome sense of déjà vu to watching the news. In 1962, a coup d’état deposed another fledgling civilian government. In 1990, the junta ignored the results of an election which the NLD also won in a landslide. We had hoped it would not come to this.   On that historic day, Naypyitaw’s sprawling parliamentary complex was buzzing with unchecked enthusiasm and bright with the orange “penny” cotton clothing favored by the NLD.   The 2015 election was the first I had ever voted in. Now I read the list of people who have been detained — some apparently released to house arrest — and each name feels like a punch to the gut. There is a cousin recovering from cancer, a childhood friend’s uncle, a singer who spoke at a multi-faith discussion I moderated, a lawmaker I interviewed.  With Trumpian logic, the army, known in Myanmar as Tatmadaw, justified its move by citing “election fraud” during the November 8 elections, which the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won by a landslide. International observers had declared the polls largely free and fair.  After 10 years, the military has again acted to blight the lives of a new generation in Myanmar. I just hope this coup doesn’t last another half a century. In a statement announcing a year-long state of emergency, acting president and ex-general Myint Swe said ongoing protests against election results, which many believe were instigated by proxies of the army-backed party, threatened the country’s stability. Meanwhile, the army, which has been fighting armed ethnic groups for decades, said it pledged to “restore eternal peace.” It was a remarkable level of institutional gaslighting.   After all, why stage a coup when you already hold all the cards? last_img read more

DOF Wins Tax Dispute

first_imgDOF Rederi AS, a subsidiary of DOF ASA has won a court case against the Norwegian Central Tax office regarding extra correction tax for 2008, which has been found in contravention of the legislation for the current tax year.The lawsuit has a certain connection to the earlier constitutional conflict related to the Norwegian Tonnage tax regime.After DOF Rederi won the lawsuit in the District Court and in the Appelate Court, the Supreme Court has on 2nd October rejected the final appeal from the Norwegian Central Tax Office. Thererore, the case is final and in favour of DOF Rederi.The company will be reimbursed with approximately $6,2 million (NOK 40 million) in taxes and legal costs related to the proceedings.Press Release, October 03, 2014last_img

Practice note on trust corporation set-up

first_imgThe Law Society has published a practice note aimed at firms considering establishing a trust corporation.Trust corporations have traditionally been owned by high street banks or firms with substantial private client departments. However, some new entrants into the legal market are combining them with a consumer brand to provide legal services, while more established law firms are creating them in response to demand.Trust corporations are separate entities to the parent partnership or LLP, so carry a separate risk, and require £100,000 paid-up capital in cash. The note covers the practicalities of establishing a corporation, including regulatory requirements.last_img

Remember To Switch Off Before You Head Off on Holiday

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInThe Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to switch off before they go on holiday.When making a list of what to pack for your holiday, take a moment to list what you need to switch off and unplug.Prevent a fire in your home by turning off all non-essential appliances and remove plugs before leaving your property.Make sure not to leave glass items in the windows of your home as the sun can be magnified through these and start a fire when you’re not there.In case there is a fire, reduce the spread by closing all internal doors and check that smoke alarms are working so that neighbours will be alerted as soon as possible.Let your neighbour know you’re going to be away and if you can, leave a key with them.Read our safety advice and enjoy your holiday – /your-safety/safer-summer.aspxlast_img read more

Car traveling 36-MPH on I-75 is pulled over

first_imgJELLICO, TN (WLAF) – Several reports of a small gray car all over the road on I-75 north ended in an arrest.Last Friday, several motorists reported the car was around the 141 northbound mile marker. The last call said the car was at the 156 northbound mile marker and other vehicles could not get around it because the vehicle was all over the roadway traveling approximately 36 mph, according to a report from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.Deputy Courtney Charles found the car at the 160 northbound mile marker (Jellico Exit) traveling in the middle of the road. Courtney saw three transfer trucks, two cars, one SUV, and one pick-up truck behind the vehicle. While traveling in the left hand lane, Courtney saw the vehicle allgedly cross the center line two times, cross the fog line three times and then cross the center line. At this point, Charles turned on her emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop, during this time the vehicle crossed the center line two more times and crossed the fog line after being followed for approximately one quarter of a mile. She then turned on her siren and the vehicle continued approximately another half mile, while crossing the center line and fog line several times.When Charles was finally able to stop the vehicle and make contact with the driver, she could smell alcoholic beverage coming from the car. When the driver, who was later identified as Joanna Lee Nelson, was asked if she had anything to drink, she said she had not. During this time Jellico Police Officer Tyler Minton arrived and asked Nelson if she had any alcoholic beverages and she said allegedly said she had not. A search of the vehicle revealed six open alcoholic beverage containers under the front passenger seat. Minton asked her again if she had anything to drink and she said allegedly said that she had three or four alcoholic beverages.Nelson was asked to do a field sobriety test and agreed to the tests.  However, when asked to do the walk and turn test and the one leg test, she said she was unable to do them because of a back problem. A check of her license revealed Nelson’s driver’s license was suspended, and she had an open warrant. At this time, Nelson was arrested and transported to the Jellico Police Department for a breath test. While waiting to do the test, Nelson asked if she could make a phone call before the test but was told she could make her phone call when she was booked into the jail. She then said an “ It doesn’t matter anyway, I’m not doing it”.While being transported to the jail, Nelson allegedly urinated on herself in the back of the patrol car and never told Charles she had to use the bathroom. When asked if she had urinated in the car she allegedly said, “I don’t know, I may have, or maybe not, don’t really know.”Nelson, 42, 223 Janeva Road, Knoxville is charged with driving under influence (DUI), violation implied consent law, failure to maintain lane, driving while suspended, violation of open container law, impeding the flow of traffic, vandalism and capias/bench warrant. She remains housed in the Campbell County Jail this morning on a $12,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, July 23.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/19/2019-6AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Timberlake’s ’20/20′ album sells 968K in 1st week

first_imgNEW YORK | Justin Timberlake’s comeback album has sold nearly 1 million units its first week out.Nielsen SoundScan announced Tuesday that the singer’s third album, “The 20/20 Experience,” has moved 968,000 units. It’s the 19th album in Nielsen’s 22-year history that has sold more than 900,000 albums in a single week.“20/20” is Timberlake’s third album and the follow-up to his multiplatinum, Grammy-winning 2006 album, “FutureSex/LoveSound.” The new CD features the pop hit “Suit & Tie.”“The numbers are pleasantly surprising,” said Tom Corson, the president and chief operating officer of RCA Records, which released Timberlake’s album.This Feb. 20, 2013 file photo shows Justin Timberlake during the BRIT Awards 2013 in London. Nielsen SoundScan announced Tuesday, March 26, 2013, that the singer’s third album, “The 20/20 Experience,” has moved 968,000 units. It’s the 19th album in Nielsen’s 12-year history that has sold more than 900,000 albums in a single week. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, file)The label had projected that “20/20” would sell 500,000 to 600,000 units, Corson said.Timberlake, 31, was strategic about promoting his comeback effort: He performed at the Grammy Awards, hosted and hit the stage at “Saturday Night Live” and spent an entire week on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” The singer also partnered with Target for the album’s deluxe edition and “20/20” streamed on iTunes a week before it was released.Timberlake came up with the idea of a weeklong stint himself, Fallon said.“I think he mentioned it to me like a year ago that he’s working on something and wanted to do a week on our show,” Fallon said Tuesday.“20/20” is an unconventional album that features a mesh of R&B, soul, pop and futuristic sounds. The 10 tracks average seven minutes each.Corson believes Timberlake’s key to promoting the album was “less is more.”“While it felt like he was everywhere, he didn’t do a lot of things because he didn’t have to. But he did big things,” he said.Fallon even joked that other celebrities are trying to follow in Timberlake’s footsteps with a weeklong stay on his show.“We’re getting a lot of phone calls now to do themed-weeks for people,” said Fallon, who added that the show’s writers and producers developed a load of material for “Timberweek.”“We have enough for another month,” he said. “We could have ‘Timbermonth.’ Trust me, NBC is already pitching it to me.”Of the 19 albums to sell more than 900,000 in a single week, Timberlake holds three slots. His albums with ‘N Sync, 2000’s “No Strings Attached” and 2001’s “Celebrity,” sold 2.4 million and 1.9 million in their first week, respectively. Backstreet Boys, Lil Wayne and Taylor Swift have two albums each that have hit that level.The excitement over the new album has also boosted sales of Timberlake’s other solo albums, Nielsen Co. said. Last year, “FutureSex/LoveSound” and 2002’s “Justified” sold 39,000 and 21,000 copies each, but this year they’ve already sold 29,000 and 17,000, respectively.“As the marketing sort of picks up for the new record and the single goes to radio … you definitely start to see interest,” said David Bakula, Nielsen’s senior vice president of client development and analytics for entertainment.Bakula said ‘N Sync sales are up, too.Fallon said Timberlake worked tirelessly ahead of the five shows and he’s proud of his friend’s success.“Justin was here till 11 o’clock most nights choreographing dance moves so he nailed it the next night,” he said. “And he was sick at the time.”Corson said this week’s success could change the expectation of Timberlake’s follow-up to “20/20,” which will likely be released later this year.“It sure should,” he said with a laugh. “Part two is now even more anticipated.”Timberlake could even show up for a stint on Fallon again.“We are already talking about it,” Fallon said.___Online:https://twentytwenty.justintimberlake.com/https://https://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/___Follow Mesfin Fekadu at https://twitter.com/MusicMesfinlast_img read more