WIN KITE, Myanmar (Reuters) – Three Muslim men peered over a bamboo fence built recently to fortify their village in central Myanmar. They gazed across dry rice paddies towards a nearby Buddhistcommunity, looking for rising dust, a sign of an approaching mob.
Introduced a decade and a half ago under Myanmar’s former military rulers, SIM cards sold for as much as $7,000 apiece. Today, they still cost more than $200. From Thursday, lucky winners of a lottery-style sale may get one for as little as $2.
This is telecoms deregulation, Myanmar-style.
The lottery is a first tentative step into a telecoms revolution that has transformed societies and spurred economic growth across the globe – and could be a game changer for Myanmar, emerging from decades of isolation and mismanagement that have left it Asia’s second-poorest nation after Afghanistan.
MEIKHTILA, Myanmar, April 30 – In Myanmar’s central heartlands, justice and security is elusive for thousands of Muslims who lost their homes in a deadly rampage by Buddhist mobs in March.
Many are detained in prison-like camps, unable to return to neighborhoods and businesses razed in four days of violence in Meikhtila that killed at least 43 people, most of them Muslims, displaced nearly 13,000, and touched off a wave of anti-Muslim unrest fuelled by radical Buddhist monks.