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Be careful: Burmese women miss electoral roll collapsing after long wait in front of Singapore Embassy
One desperate Myanmar girl broke down over the week-end after standing in line at the Singaporeese embassy over night just to find her name off the electoral roll. Bogalay's Nway Oo Wai, from the Irrawaddy Delta, seemed to be hyperventilating and dropped to the ground after she had declared that she had signed up for the election in the run-up and that she had the right identity card.
Because of the long lines in front of the embassy, many would-be electors had to stay the night.
Myanmar's multiple exchange rate regime efficiencies costs
Abstract: Myanmar's multi-currency system leads to various forms of financial distortion. Describing Myanmar's currency movements, this document sets out a model of currency exchanges and the cost of efficiencies arising from quasi-fiscal operations under the present currency parity system. Our model-based analysis results show that the balance sheet currency could be below the single currency at around 400-500 K per US Dollars, using the balance sheet currency (instead of the actual currency rate), as the booking currency raises trading transparency from less than 1 per cent, as judged by government statistical sources, to more than 20 per cent.
For 2006/07, the overall inefficiency losses resulting from the present multi-exchange system are projected at around 14-17% of GDP.
I want to be a Miss Myanmar.
YANGON, Myanmar - Behind the scenes of the Myanmar Fashion Designer Group (MFDG), the young ladies are upset. Girls are staring into their wardrobe mirror and nervously apply sparkle and powders to their faces. In the clothes of the best designer in the land, the ladies make their last arrangements before entering the airstrip.
Each show, organised by a recently founded community of Chinese design professionals, will pay them around $100 - no small amount in a land where the annual salary is only $180. Following the recent changes in democracy in Myanmar - and the associated reform - fashions are booming.
Following years of indigenous economical segregation, the federal administration has liberalised a number of industry sectors and normalised relationships with much of the wider globe to promote increased levels of overseas investments - fast changes that have affected both aesthetic and commercial imperatives. Yangon is the biggest town in the county and its design team is constantly adjusting to the latest regional outlooks.
Now more than ever, young ladies are hunting celebrities and a salary check through the modelling business and taking part in a steadily expanding schedule of promotional promotions, shows and pageants. For many of these girls, however, there are costs. During the MFDG trade show in September 2014, while the girls stay behind the stage in the moments before the show begins, another young lady dawdles in the crowd.
Though not running on the catwalk, the teen is one of Myanmar's most popular designs. It is also the most remarkable of the survivors of what many within the sector characterise as a corporate culture that is abused and exploited. Mae Myat Noe was named overall champion of the Miss Asia Pacific World held annually in Seoul in May, the first ever global competition in over 30 years.
Mae Myat Noe became a nationwide fame after the Myanmar army regimes stopped young girls from travelling abroad to take part in such competitions. It had been deposed for its refusal to meet the degrading requirements often associated with the successful procession.
The history of Mae Myat Noe illustrates the worrying aspirations - from cosmetic surgeries to sexual work - for some young ladies participating in the fashionable and internationalising world. While Myanmar is truly beginning to grow its own high-end fashions make, some young females may find glory or, decisively, invariable rewards.
Few young girls will take part in contests or find their faces on a poster board, but almost all are exposed to the dangers of an ever more fashionable but completely non-regulated sector. In the Talents and Models Agency, which is located in the cellar of a Yangon city centre retail center, tens of young ladies in tights and high boots stalk through the gym.
"I' d like to be a Miss Myanmar," says 16-year-old Myat Eain Dray in fractured English and describes one of the dozen domestic competitions. Myat Eain Dray, one of the agency's ambitions, seems to have them all in his sight. Today, many Yangon fashion studios are like a one-stop careers store for those who want to get into Myanmar's thriving cosmetics business.
You will find workshops on modelling technique, cosmetic advice and even an introduction to the world of label. Myanmar's ladies participating in contests and catwalk shows are one and the same, although the main objective is to compete internationally. High-end fast-paced cars make between $50 and $100 per show; the best global competitors can take home tens of thousand bucks in prizes.
Talentagenturen, which often organise regional fashions and have links to multinational contests, are the goalkeepers of this game. Pictures of the nascent moving scenery in Yangon, where glamor coexists side by side with sloppiness and sexprocess. However, while these consultancies can lead young ladies to succeed, they also help to enforce some of the more inappropriate industrial norms.
Tin Moe Lwin, CEO of the Talents and Models Agency, says that agents help to ease the burden of plastics surgeries - often in return for a setback from overseas aesthetic surgeons. "More and more Thai and South Korean businesses are urging young patients to undergo surgery," she says, declaring that the businesses are approaching the young ladies through their manager.
It is estimated that about two third of the young ladies working as modeling in Myanmar had some kind of aesthetic surgery. The Yangon Surgery Clinics' health personnel surveyed for this item reported that the most common techniques for nasal and lid surgery are - to add more texture to Europe. Even more worrying according to a number of sector experts questioned for this tale is that some talented individuals are reportedly putting model companies under duress to get involved in this work.
Newcomers in the shop have to buy their own clothing and make-up and even finance their own photoshoot. Corresponding to Jessica Chae, 23, a former model now working in trade managment, less high-value media act as little more than procurers, ranking for their young wives to encounter affluent men in urban motels.
She says that for most of them modelling is just a kind of "first-class prostitution". "Often these agreements are made with managers or managers in the business who blackmail sex favours in return for advancement. 19 young ladies will be competing in the Miss Myanmar World Final on September 23, 2014, in the banqueting room of the Strand Hotel, the old Yangon mansion in the city.
She is the Miss Myanmar and represents her nation in the Miss World competition. For a long time, there have been pubs where young ladies perform in suitable costumes in front of their guests. While young girls who do not have the opportunity to have more official representations sometimes attend these meetings and hope to get a foothold in the doorstep, even the higher education establishments have no official links with serious modelling organisations.
Several troops of young ladies per evening can be accommodated in the bar. Using grassroots popping sounds or cover art from the West, the young ladies are performing grossly routine choreographies on glaring music. Part of the conversation is that clients can buy for the society of the "models" - with waitresses who put a lametta collar around the throat of a young woman who has been selected.
Guests buy a few moments with the woman of their choice. At upscale institutions, these guests often come back to see the same woman every single day and become something of an informal clientele. As some young girls join a troop to start an formal job in the hope that a prosperous clientele will finance photoshoots and arrange a meet with a legal operative, others, like Moe Aye, just try to help their family.
From Shan State in northeastern Myanmar, she came to Yangon, where her wife and daughter still live. Every nightime Moe Aye and her troop go to a series of shabby inns. The young ladies snigger and clean themselves in graffiti-covered lifts to access the top storey bar, which they use as shop windows as they get ready for their next performance.
Altough Moe Aye has not confirmed using it, many young females in the industry are rumored to remain vigilant to yoaba - a topical methamphetamine -. At the beginning of the MFDG-fashionfair, the ecological public of affluent Yangonites, creators, make-up artist and a group of teens of a regional art academy are silenced as the first model go on the runway.
Though she sees the show from the public, Mae Myat Noë, the disappointed Miss Asia Pacific World, is not satisfied with being a bystander. Instead of promoting sector norms, the increase in global competition has in many ways opened up new possibilities for young girls to take advantage of. Mae Myat Noë therefore no longer relies on the agencies and organisers who have penalised the more improper practice of the sector.
Said she came back to Myanmar with the jewelry Tiara she had won at Miss Asia Pacific World, allegedly valued at $100,000. Mae Myat Noe has already made a name for herself; she is in a scarce situation to compete with the more corruption in the sector.