Fear Rises in Myanmar After Bomb Blasts
BURMA

Fear Rises in Rangoon After Bomb Blasts

Yangon, Rangoon, bombing, Traders Hotel, security, Southeast Asian Games, tourism

Spectators stand on Sula Pagoda Road to get a view of Traders Hotel after a small bomb exploded in a hotel room late on Monday night. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Tin Hla, a taxi driver in Burma’s biggest city, felt uneasy driving through the streets on Tuesday morning, following a bomb blast at an upscale hotel the night before. “We’re not secure living in Rangoon right now,” he says. “We’ve heard about bomb blasts every day.”

In the latest explosion to hit the commercial capital, an American woman was injured after a small bomb went off late on Monday night in her room at Traders Hotel, an upscale hotel in the downtown area that is popular among tourists and foreign business travelers.

“There are a lot of police in Rangoon’s townships,” the taxi driver said, noting an increase in security checkpoints on the roads. “We were checked by them last night, township by township. Now people in the outskirt townships are reluctant to go downtown.”

Several homemade bombs have been planted in and around Rangoon in recent days. A small bomb exploded at a bus station in Insein Township in the early hours of Sunday morning, while a bomb attached to the underside of a truck exploded later that day in Thaketa Township, leaving two people injured. A homemade bomb was also found Sunday near the bus station in Insein, according to state media, while a small undetonated explosive was discovered Monday at an expensive Chinese restaurant in west Rangoon.

Elsewhere in Burma, in nearby Pegu Division, an explosive device was found and defused by army officials last week on Wednesday, while a bomb blast at a guesthouse on Friday killed two people and injured one. In Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, police found and detonated a bomb at a restaurant this week on Monday afternoon. In Sagaing Division, neighboring Mandalay Division, two bombs went off in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with no injuries reported.

At least four people were detained by the police on Tuesday, including three people in Rangoon and one person in Mon State.

On Tuesday mid-morning in Rangoon, a suspicious package on a downtown street corner raised concern. “At the corner of Seikkan Thar Street and 38th Street, the police came and checked with their dogs, but no bomb was found,” said Chit Htike, who lives on the street in Kyauktada Township. “Vendors have stopped selling things—older vendors seem scared to work today.”

He said he believed others in the city would hesitate to visit shopping malls, cinemas or even bus stations. “Even Traders had a bomb blast—how can people dare to go to crowded areas in this situation? I’m worried about my parents and my relatives, I don’t want them to go outside,” he said.

The bombings have also raised concerns for tourists. Rangoon-based travel and tour agencies said foreigners started canceling reservations on Tuesday, following the bomb blast at Traders. In a meeting with the deputy minister of hotels and tourism, they said they worried business would plummet in the coming months.

Aye Kyaw, chairman of Ruby Land travel and tour company, said guests had made reservations with a deposit one month in advance but were now trying to cancel their bookings. “The problem is, hotels are not giving back their deposits,” he said. “It’s really ugly for our country. The government—respective ministries—should give us some support.

“Foreign visitors are getting worried about visiting. This will impact all related sectors in the hotel and tourism industry.”

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism earlier this year said it expected foreign visitor arrivals to reach 2 million by the end of this year, up from 1.6 million in 2011.

Aung Zaw Win, director general of hotels and tourism, urged hotels to take responsibility for additional security. “The front office should run security checks on visitors’ belongings as well as housekeepers,” he said. “They should check seriously after every visitor checks out.”

The Yangon Hotelier Association will inspect 33 hotels in Rangoon next week for security, the association’s spokesperson said.

The series of bombings comes ahead of two public holidays in Burma. On Wednesday the country’s Muslim minority will observe the Islamic holiday of Eid Mubarak. On Saturday, the Buddhist majority will celebrate the Buddhist festival of lights, known as Thadingyut.

More municipal security officers were posted on Tuesday in downtown Rangoon around Sule Pagoda and neighboring City Hall. Extra security has also been deployed at shopping malls. “We’re increasing security at every Junction mall,” said a spokeswoman for the upscale Junction shopping centers, at four locations in Rangoon and one in Naypyidaw. “We are checking rubbish bins, the corner of escalators, inside elevators and in toilets,” said the spokeswoman.

In 2005, nearly simultaneous bomb blasts rocked two supermarkets in Rangoon, at Junction 8 mall and a City Mart store. Nineteen people were killed, according to the official death toll, while 162 people were injured.

In 2010, three bombs exploded at a pavilion in Rangoon during a celebration of the Burmese New year, killing at least eight people.

Small bomb blasts occurred frequently under Burma’s military regime, and were normally blamed on armed ethnic groups, although many believed the authorities were behind the explosions. Such incidents have become more rare in recent years, and security at borders has been heightened this year in anticipation of December’s Southeast Asian Games.

Burma’s national police chief, Win Khaung, said in August that official intelligence had identified a terrorist movement in the country. At the time he called for heightened security to protect increasing numbers of foreign visitors to Burma.

­


6 Responses to Fear Rises in Rangoon After Bomb Blasts

  1. What is the point of planting bombs in the hotels? Who are the targets? It doesn’t make sense to me at all. Coward behavior. At the same time, if it is the work from USDP to stir up the nation for their own cause, USDP will be seen as the same regime of the past. I believe USDP is the source of this incident.

  2. What is the point of planting bombs in the hotels? Who are the targets? It doesn’t make sense to me at all. Coward behavior. At the same time, if it is the work from USDP to stir up the nation for their own cause, USDP will be seen as the same regime of the past. I believe USDP is the source of this incident.

  3. In the human world there are many problems and difficulties, conflicts, various ways of fights, wars, natural and man-made disasters. We should expect more and newer types of troubles to come in the future.

    All of us try to get food, place to live, jobs to make income, etc. out of the single planet. We also are embedded with desires that grow and that make us want more and more variety of wants.

    Meanwhile we never care for the nature & environment, and never try to go toward fairly equal distribution of rights, opportunities; and reciprocal and more balanced flow of love, respect, trust, opportunities; or unity among different cultures, belief systems and ethnicity.

    Among the world’s human population Myanmars and their country have been played, invaded, governed, manipulated by some owners of technological economical and military powers.

    Together with the own problems and weaknesses Myanmars in general are at the lower end of the flow of love, respect, trust, and opportunities among the human population. With respect to the desirable qualities of human – Myanmars are also in the lower ends.

    To develop our community as safer, healthier, greener, happier, more independent, self sufficient, productive and contributing nation we must stop infighting, reduce blindly following the so-called material development, tourism – and work really hard on
    - Diverse and much higher quality of public education
    - Mental and Physical health, fitness, smartness, life skills, penetrative thinking, openness, and love and cooperation among the citizens
    - Discipline, efficient works, responsibility, production of products and services that do not harm anyone health and environment
    - Laws and rules of good laws that guarantee fairly equally distributed rights and opportunities among all citizens, citizens must explore everything everywhere inside their country and own make good responsible use of the related information
    - Love, study and research of and care for the nature and its dynamic processes
    - To design and build communities that are sustainable, maintainable, livable, safe and healthy, and nature friendly

    We must reduce the wastes and damages such as
    - production, import, consumption, delivery of harmful products and services (pepsi, cokes, alcohols, energy drinks, betel nut chewing, cigarettes, instant noodle, other junk foods, unnecessary events and cultures, cosmetics, plastic and foam packages, video games, game machines, too many tv or other electronic stuffs, so-called recycling of harmful products that arrive from foreign lands, – - -)
    - extravagant and unnecessary ceremonies, too complicated or bad designs that are costly to maintain and also may produce vision pollution
    - climate-unfriendly products such as leather and jean jackets in hot climates, jean pants, sofa, carpets, etc. – - – those that harm your health and breed and spread germs, or that need lot of water and resources for cleaning
    - gossip, talking without the logical reasoning, worshiping someone or some group,
    narrow-mindedness, bias, discrimination, lack of purpose or forgetting the purpose

    If we can reduce these wastes by 50% that will provide us a lot of resources to be used for good development of country.

    We must work hard to make our peoples healthy both mentally and physically, fit, adventurous, educated, skilled, and we must study and explore all the times and open for all information from anywhere any times.

    We must build green healthy and active communities and construct our homes and buildings safe for everyone: old peoples as well as children and for visitors. We must also have enough knowledge, diverse training, skills, and technology not only for responsible development but also for our safety against disasters, conflicts, and terrorists.

    If we have mostly thin, weakling, under trained, and under equipped police and arm forces with only little supports from the public – we will see much greater harms and distructions. In these circumstances foreign trained smart and healthier fighters (bombers) can come and perform raids inside our country anywhere any time they plan and choose.

    We must stop infighting.
    After all our purpose must be for the next generations to be much more healthier, fit, adventurous, educated, smart, independent, and builder and owners of green, clean, healthy, happy, safe, self sufficient and united country.

  4. In the human world there are many problems and difficulties, conflicts, various ways of fights, wars, natural and man-made disasters. We should expect more and newer types of troubles to come in the future.

    All of us try to get food, place to live, jobs to make income, etc. out of the single planet. We also are embedded with desires that grow and that make us want more and more variety of wants.

    Meanwhile we never care for the nature & environment, and never try to go toward fairly equal distribution of rights, opportunities; and reciprocal and more balanced flow of love, respect, trust, opportunities; or unity among different cultures, belief systems and ethnicity.

    Among the world’s human population Myanmars and their country have been played, invaded, governed, manipulated by some owners of technological economical and military powers.

    Together with the own problems and weaknesses Myanmars in general are at the lower end of the flow of love, respect, trust, and opportunities among the human population. With respect to the desirable qualities of human – Myanmars are also in the lower ends.

    To develop our community as safer, healthier, greener, happier, more independent, self sufficient, productive and contributing nation we must stop infighting, reduce blindly following the so-called material development, tourism – and work really hard on
    - Diverse and much higher quality of public education
    - Mental and Physical health, fitness, smartness, life skills, penetrative thinking, openness, and love and cooperation among the citizens
    - Discipline, efficient works, responsibility, production of products and services that do not harm anyone health and environment
    - Laws and rules of good laws that guarantee fairly equally distributed rights and opportunities among all citizens, citizens must explore everything everywhere inside their country and own make good responsible use of the related information
    - Love, study and research of and care for the nature and its dynamic processes
    - To design and build communities that are sustainable, maintainable, livable, safe and healthy, and nature friendly

    We must reduce the wastes and damages such as
    - production, import, consumption, delivery of harmful products and services (pepsi, cokes, alcohols, energy drinks, betel nut chewing, cigarettes, instant noodle, other junk foods, unnecessary events and cultures, cosmetics, plastic and foam packages, video games, game machines, too many tv or other electronic stuffs, so-called recycling of harmful products that arrive from foreign lands, – - -)
    - extravagant and unnecessary ceremonies, too complicated or bad designs that are costly to maintain and also may produce vision pollution
    - climate-unfriendly products such as leather and jean jackets in hot climates, jean pants, sofa, carpets, etc. – - – those that harm your health and breed and spread germs, or that need lot of water and resources for cleaning
    - gossip, talking without the logical reasoning, worshiping someone or some group,
    narrow-mindedness, bias, discrimination, lack of purpose or forgetting the purpose

    If we can reduce these wastes by 50% that will provide us a lot of resources to be used for good development of country.

    We must work hard to make our peoples healthy both mentally and physically, fit, adventurous, educated, skilled, and we must study and explore all the times and open for all information from anywhere any times.

    We must build green healthy and active communities and construct our homes and buildings safe for everyone: old peoples as well as children and for visitors. We must also have enough knowledge, diverse training, skills, and technology not only for responsible development but also for our safety against disasters, conflicts, and terrorists.

    If we have mostly thin, weakling, under trained, and under equipped police and arm forces with only little supports from the public – we will see much greater harms and distructions. In these circumstances foreign trained smart and healthier fighters (bombers) can come and perform raids inside our country anywhere any time they plan and choose.

    We must stop infighting.
    After all our purpose must be for the next generations to be much more healthier, fit, adventurous, educated, smart, independent, and builder and owners of green, clean, healthy, happy, safe, self sufficient and united country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>