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Story of Nay Mi

Posted on 10 May, 2011 at 20:11 Comments comments (661)
Epic stories of Gautama Buddha's previous lives
Story of Nemi <Nay Mi>
Adapted and translated from Burmese written by Min Yu Wai.
Long time ago there was a king named Marga Daewa in Maithilar in the kingdom of Widae Harith.  The king enjoyed his life by observing religious practices. Therefore, he had decided that when he got old and grey he would turn himself into a monk and wander at non worldly life. He told his barber, who took care of his hair and beard that if any hairs turned grey let him know.
One day the barber saw one single grey hair on the king's head. The barber reported, "Your majesty, I have seen one single grey hair on your head."
Then the king released the kingship and gave the throne to his son. The king summoned his son, "When the hair turns grey, give up secular life as I do." Then the king gave up the throne. He went into monkhood and wandered at non worldly life.
Therefore, the future generations inherited the legacy of ruling the throne and wandering at non worldly life when their hair turned grey.
Since king Marga Daewa, there was an eight hundred and thirty one thousand nine hundred and ninety ninth king who ruled Maithilar. The king had one son, Nay Mi Kumaya. Since childhood, prince Nay Mi gave alms offerings and observed religious commandments.
According to the ancient traditions the king relinquished the throne and wandered at non worldly life when the hair turned grey. Then, the prince Nay Mi inherited the kingship. King Nay Mi ruled the kingdom in compliance with the rules of kings' conducts. In addition, five pavilions for alms offerings were erected, each on four gates of the city and one in the middle. Every day one hundred thousand monetary notes were donated in each pavilion, a total of five hundred thousand notes. Five pillars of commandments were observed. Fastings were done every full moon day and last waning day. The people were encouraged to do good deeds.
Those who followed the king’s teachings were destined to Nat Pyi, angels’ kingdom, when they died. Therefore, angels' population had increased in Nat Pyi, angels’ kingdom. The hell became less populated. One day, king Nay Mi was trying to think but unable to get a clue on the puzzle of "which one is more beneficial, alms offerings or observing commandments?"
Sakka <Tha Kyar Minn>, chief of all Nats angels, descended to earth when he became aware of the king's problem. He became visible to king Nay Mi and said, "Your majesty, observing commandments is more beneficial than those of the alms offerings." Then, Tha Kyar Minn ascended back to Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi, the angels' kingdom. 

When the angels of the Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi became aware of the episode they wished to meet with king Nay Mi. So they begged Tha Kyar Minn to invite king Nay Mi to the angels' kingdom. Sakka <Thar Kyar Minn> fulfilled the angels' wishes. He commanded Martali Nat angel, "Get king Nay Mi here."
Martali Nat came to fetch king Nay Mi with a one-thousand Theiktaw horses drawn carriage, Waizayandra. The people of Maithilar gazed with surprise on their faces. Martali invited king Nay Mi.  The king accepted the invitation with much pleasure because he had never been to Nat Pyi before. He told the people and the members of the palace, "I'll be back soon, do not forget to do good deeds." Then he alighted on the Waizayandra carriage. Martali asked the king, "Your majesty, we have two routes, one passes through the hell and the other one, heaven. Which route would you like to choose?"
The king had not seen heaven or hell, so he wanted to see both, and he replied, "I would like to pass both routes."
At that, Martali steered his carriage in the direction of the hell first. Different kinds of torments were shown in hell. Some of those in hell were trying to swim in a river which was covered with flaming iron spikes and iron vines leading to no escape. Some were being eaten by hell dogs the size of elephants. Some were running on a flaming iron ground with their bodies on fire. Some were being dumped on a big bronze pot with boiling copper. Some were forced to eat flaming ashes. Some were targeted by flaming arrows. Some were having chopped their body parts off. Some were forced to eat feces in a horrible ditch full of feces. Some were forced to drink rotten blood and rotten pus. Some were skewered with flaming iron hooks in their tongues. Some were being tortured, their lower torsos buried under iron ground and their upper torsos rolled over by a flaming road roller. Some were put upside down in a flaming ditch. Others were tortured with yet more techniques.
Those who were suffering in hell had done very bad deeds in their previous lives. Depending on their bad deeds they were tortured with different kinds of torments.
After these different kinds of torments were shown, Martali took king Nay Mi to Nat Pyi, where angels were enjoying their luxurious heavenly wellbeing.
Angels in Nat Pyi were the ones who did very good deeds in their previous lives. Depending on their good deeds they enjoyed different kinds of luxurious wellbeing.
At first king Nay Mi saw Bareni Natami, a femaleangel, who was enjoying the luxurious monument in Nat Pyi. She was living in a monument decorated with rubies, and one thousand angels, Natami, were at her disposal. Then, king Nay Mi saw the monument where Tawnadein Nat, a male angel, was enjoying. Tawnadein Nat was enjoying seven monuments with many femaleangels, Natami. Then king Nemi saw many femaleangels, Natami, in the monuments. These angels were having heavenly beverages and heavenly foods, Nat Tokethar. They were also enjoying heavenly instrumental music. Then there was a monument made of rubies, and many male angels, Nats, were listening to the heavenly instrumental music in it. Next, there was a monument made of crystal. A male angel Nat resided in it with many female angels, Natami. Then there was a monument made of gem. A male angel Nat was enjoying heavenly instrumental music in it. Next, there was a monument made of gold. A male angel Nat was enjoying luxurious heavenly wellbeing.
It took times for Martali and king Nay Mi to look at Nat monuments one after another. In the meantime, Nats angels from Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi were waiting for them to arrive. Sakka <Tha Kyar Minn>  the chief angel sent a messenger, Zawana Nat, to them. Thus King Nay Mi did not waste time anymore, looked around briefly at the rest of the monuments located at four corners, and went straight up to the Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi.
When they arrived to Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi, king Nay Mi was being welcomed by the Nats angels from both sides of the carriage. Sakka <Tha Kyar Minn>, the chief angel, received king Nay Mi and offered him a seat on the throne.
Sakka <Thar Kyar Minn> told king Nay Mi, "Your majesty, stay in Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi and enjoy the luxurious heavenly wellbeing here."
King Nay Mi declined.
He said, "Your highness, the luxurious wellbeing given by somebody resembles a vehicle on loan. It is like using things that are on loan. I do not want it. Only when it is earned with their own good deeds will it become their own property. I only desire my own property. I have to go back to earth and do good deeds myself to earn my own property."
Then, king Nay Mi summoned religious teachings to all Nats angels. The teachings included rules for observing physically, orally and morally in order to get benefit and good deeds which were beneficial physically and morally.
King Nay Mi came back to the earth after spending 7 days in Thar Wadeintar Nat Pyi. Martali gave a lift again with Waizayandra carriage.
When king Nay Mi arrived back, the people of Maithilar assembled happily to greet the king. "What does Nat Pyi looklike, your majesty?" the people asked.
King Nay Mi praised about Sakka <Thar Kyar Minn> and other Nats and their luxurious wellbeing. Then the king summoned, "You all have to do good deeds such as alms offerings and etc. You all will be destined to Nat Pyi."
A few years later, some hairs turned grey on the king's head. Then, the king gave the throne to his son, Kathara Zanaka, and went into monkhood and wandered at non worldly life.
From the beginning of the era of Kathara Zanaka, the legacy of giving up throne and wandering at non worldly life when the hair turned grey was not observed anymore. Then the legacy was eradicated for the future generations.
Epilogue:         King Nay Mi was claimed the avatar of Gautama Buddha in one of his previous 547 lives.
Note: Sanskrit names are localized for easy understanding.
I hereby acknowledge the writer Min Yu Wai for his great work. Thank you.

Community Event: Burmese New Year snd Water Festival

Posted on 19 April, 2011 at 1:19 Comments comments (115)
Burmese New Year and Water Festival:

The social event to commemorate Burmese New Year & Water Festival has been successfully held on the 17 April 2011, last Sunday, at Bonython Park in Adelaide. Traditionally, this is an event annually celebrated in Burma irrespective of race, religion and individual customs. Normally the event was based on Buddhist calendar and religious background but it became a social function as the way most people celebrated Christmas all over the world irrespective of race, religion and individual customs.
We have celebrated to observe the tradition in the event to which about 100 Burmese people, who are living in Adelaide and a number of Burmese students who have been studying in university courses in Adelaide on student visas, have attended. The participants who have attended include Ms Lily Yang, a lecturer, Department of Interpreting and Translating, Adelaide TAFE, and a polyglot, who speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Burmese and English, and Dr Latt Latt Aung, a psychiatrist consultant, Department of Psychiatry, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The event has been well received by the participants with traditional foods, dishes and thingyan music. The participants have refreshed the memories and traditions that they enjoyed so much back in Burma prior to migration to Australia. A special thingyan song composed by Myo Ma Nyein has made the most refreshing memory of all in the event. Special thanks to all participants who put all the efforts to bring foods and traditional atmospheres. As throwing water to each other is not practicable a little splash from a water gun to reflect the tradition has been done. This event has been organized and celebrated annually in Adelaide since 2007.
We will do it again next year. Cheers!

My contribution to AUSIT, Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators

Posted on 15 April, 2011 at 5:31 Comments comments (64)
Advance notice of workshop:
Bookkeeping Basics
for Interpreters and Translators
Date: Thursday, 14 April 2011, 6.00 to 8.30pm
Opening at 6pm for registration, and getting to know each other around some refreshments, start of the workshop at 6.30pm
Venue: TAFE SA, 120 Currie Street, Adelaide
Room N223
(come up the stairs in the atrium or the lift to 2nd floor; it is just near the landing)
Presenter: Tony Latt
Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA members $15  - non-members $20  - students $15
AUSIT members: Attendance at this seminar is worth 10 PD points (Logbook, section 5.1).
Tony is a NAATI accredited interpreter and translator of the Burmese language. Currently he is one of the leading contract interpreters with the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS). In addition, Tony holds a Diploma of Business and an Advanced Diploma of Accounting from TAFE, and a Graduate Certificate of Professional Accounting from Southern Queensland University.
Tony has offered to share his knowledge of accounting as it relates to the interpreting and translating industry with fellow interpreters and translators. There will be exercises and the opportunity to ask questions.
If you have an issue you would like Tony to address, please send your comments and questions in advance to Adele Anderson at [email protected] by 6 April 2011.
Please RSVP by COB 8 April 2011

My contribution to AUSIT, Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators
Hello all participants,
Thank you for coming to my presentation last night, which was my first experience in a class room in front of the participants. I thought that my presentation has run not as much worst as I have expected prior to the workshop. I have tried my best to present as clear as I could when explaining about the concept of bookkeeping. Normally it took at least one semester to learn bookkeeping at TAFE. Two hour time frame is not enough for the whole concepts. I have designed especially for translators a very brief module which comprised every single concept of bookkeeping. You know, for the first time in front of participants, there might have been some negative impacts on the presentation due to my lack of experience in teaching. However, I thank you for your patience during the 2 hour session and appreciate those who have already given positive feedback.
I would like you to give your feedback again by clicking the comments button because your comments would make my website very attractive and my business potential may become viable.  Even negative feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you.

The following is an extract from AUSIT Newsletter, IN TOUCH -Volume 19, number 2-Winter 2011.

Epic Stories of Gautama Buddha's Previous lives.

Posted on 7 April, 2011 at 6:01 Comments comments (58)

Epic stories of Gautama Buddha's previous lives
Story of Temi, the Speechless Prince
Adapted and translated from Burmese written by Min Yu Wai.
Once upon a time there was a kingdom of Baranares and king Katiikrit reined the kingdom.  The king had many consorts. The chief queen was Sandradevi.
Even though the king had many consorts, none of them could bear a son. The chief queen Sandradevi was the only one who gave birth to a son. The king loved his son very much.
"Ask for a wish that you want for your son," the king told the chief queen.
"I shall seek the wish that you bestowed when our son has grown up," the chief queen replied.
The king named his son Temiya. When Temiya reached one month of age the king put him on his lap and ruled administration of justice. Rulings included one thousand lashes to a thief with a spiked cane; one to be imprisoned with an iron fetter on his ankle; one to be lanced to death; and another one to be tortured and skewered to death.
When prince Temiya heard the rulings he was frightened very much. Prince Temiya was once a king in the kingdom of Baranares in his previous life.  After reining 20 years he died. After he died he ended up in tormented hell and suffered for eighty thousand years.  Prince Temiya recollected all these experiences by way of telepathy and became afraid to rule as a king once again.
At that instant, the white umbrella angel, who had been a mother to prince Temi in one of his previous lives, became aware of his worries.  The angel advised him to pretend to be a deaf mute if he did not want to become a king. He did so according to the angel's advice.
When the king came to the knowledge of his son's muteness, he consulted with his ministers and began testing his son with various techniques. At the age of one year he was tested with snack.  At the age of two, he was tested with fruit; at three with dolls; at four with rice and curry; at five with dangerous fire; at six with an elephant; at seven with a snake; at eight with the introduction of special events and festivals; at nine with a bogus attempt to assault him with a dagger; at ten with blowing a shell-whistle  to his ear to see his muteness; at eleven with playing a drum on his ear; at twelve with the flame of scented oil to see whether he was attracted to it; at thirteen with applying honey on his body and letting mosquitoes to bite his flesh; at fourteen with applying urine and fæces  on his body to let him get dirty; at fifteen with burning coals on his body to let him feel hot; and at sixteen with beautiful girls to seduce him.
Although various techniques were used to test him, the prince did not respond or show fear. He was not interested or attracted to it instead he kept on pretending to be a deaf mute.
Therefore, the Brahmins, who had been giving advice to the king, suggested, " It is not appropriate to let him live. He should be buried alive in a cemetery otherwise it is likely that the king will lose his life and luxurious throne."
The king accepted the advice given by the Brahmins and planned to kill the prince. In that instant, chief queen Sandradevi asked the king, " Your majesty, now grant me the wish that you bestowed when the prince was born."
"Get what you wish," the king replied.
"Give my son the throne," the chief queen demanded.
"He is not worthy of the throne so the plan is to kill him," the king replied.
The chief queen continued to insist so at last the king said, "OK, he is allowed to be a king for only seven days and then he will be killed."
Once the permission was granted the chief queen formally supervised the coronation of their son with five elements of royal decorations. Then the chief queen said to the prince, "My beloved son, I have been worrying for sixteen years. I am aware that my beloved son is not a deaf mute. Stop pretending, please."
The prince pitied his mother but he did not want to break his commitment, so he kept up his silence.
On the sixth day of his coronation the king summoned the royal coach driver. When the royal coach driver came the king ordered, "Take my son prince Temi in the royal coach, depart from the rear gate and bury him alive in a cemetery."
The next day, on the seventh day of the coronation, the royal coach driver carried prince Temi and put him in the royal coach. The chief queen was heartbroken and drummed her fists on her chest and lamented, then fell to the ground of the palace.
When the coach driver reached the forest, assuming that it could be a cemetery, he stopped the coach in order to bury the prince. The coach driver took all the clothes off the prince. Then he started to dig a ditch.
While he was digging the prince put his clothes back on. He walked a little to test his mobility then approached the coach driver.
"Who gave you the order to dig this ditch and what are you going to do with it?" he said.
"The son of my lord is a deaf mute and needs to be buried so I am digging," the coach driver, very busy with his digging, replied without looking up.
"Dear coach driver, I am not a deaf mute. You would commit an unconscionable act if you bury me," the prince said.
When the coach driver heard what the prince was saying he looked up from his digging and was amazed.
"Who are you?" the coach driver asked.
"I am no other but the son of King Katiikarit. You live your life by depending on my father, who is your benefactor. You would be committing heinous act against your benefactor if you kill his son," the prince said.
Then prince Temi preached that thy should not commit misdemeanor against colleagues, thy should not commit misdemeanor against benefactors and thy should not commit unlawful acts.
At that, the coach driver kowtowed to prince Temi and begged him to come back to the palace along with him.
The prince declined.  "His majesty my father, her highness my mother and the public have already discarded me. I would make myself a hermit and stay right here."
The coach driver went back to the palace and told everything to the king and the queen. The king and the queen, very delighted at the news, planned a trip to meet their son.
In the mean time, prince Temi made himself a hermit and concentrated on religious meditation in a hermitage.
Soon afterward the king and the queen arrived with their entourage to the hermitage. When they saw their son, who had been content with consuming boiled leaves, lying on a bed made with leaves and concentrating on religious meditation, they felt both sadness and happiness at the same time.
"Prince, you are still young. Enjoy the luxurious kinghood and when you get older then go and make yourself a hermit," the king said to the son.
"Your majesty, not only the aged can experience death but also the young ones can experience death," prince Temi replied.
After listening to the religious sermons of prince Temi the king, the queen and the whole entourage got insight into it and converted themselves into hermits as well.
Epilogue:         Prince Temi was claimed the avatar of Gautama Buddha in one      of his previous 547 lives.
I hereby acknowledge the writer Min Yu Wai for his great work. Thank you.


Posted on 18 March, 2011 at 16:14 Comments comments (165)
There has been a problem in our community, probably for half a century. The problem has still remained to be resolved appropriately. The problem is graffiti. Graffiti is defined as spray-painting of words or drawings on a wall or on a visible area in a community for a purpose of displeasing the general public.
Young people, mostly teenagers, are involved in this kind of misdemeanor. The cause of the problem is still unknown. There is no evidence that any researcher has been seriously taking graffiti as a major problem.
Every morning I walk down the street where I live as my routine exercise. I am fully aware that in this local area in South Australia, most non-arterial roads' speed limit is 40 km/h. This morning it has surprisingly come to my notice that the speed limit sign has been changed to 60 km/h. I am wondering how our local council could have changed the road rule overnight without any notice given to the general public. In fact, neither the local council has changed the rule overnight nor any transport authority has anything to do with it, but as a result of graffiti committed by somebody.
As I have seen some graffiti on walls, I thought that the impact of graffiti only affected the owner of the wall and had not much impact on the general public apart from a feeling of discomfort. Now graffiti on speed limit sign is a different case and it certainly will have a greater effect on motorists. Some motorists could have identified that the speed limit sign has been altered by graffiti, but for a few slightly visually impaired drivers it might be a problem especially when a speed camera is in operation nearby. Driving at a speed of 60 km/h in a 40 km/h zone attracts a large amount of fine and probably 2 demerit points. Therefore, graffiti can no longer be ignored in this case and the safety purpose of the road rule in a 40 km/h zone is adversely affected. This could impliedly lead to the issue of public safety and for the innocent drivers a violation of traffic rules.
Is graffiti a behavioral disorder? There is no evidence that any prominent behavioral therapist or psychologist has ever mentioned that graffiti is in association with a human behavioral disorder. In most cases, graffiti is done by young people who could be in their early practice of artistic skills and some of them maybe in their expectation of displeasing general public. There are no resources for them to practice their artistic skills so walls and other public properties have become their targets. This could be normal behavior in terms of patterns of teenagers' conducts such as riding push-bikes and skateboards. It is a very rare case for an adult person to do graffiti.
One local newspaper reported quite some time ago that police surveillance has increased to deter the act of graffiti. Unfortunately, graffiti is still a problem in our community. Police surveillance is not an efficient means to deter people from committing graffiti. Police forces can not be available at all times and in all areas in a community; rather they must have important matters which are most likely to be given priority over graffiti. Therefore, police surveillance has failed to solve the problem of graffiti.
How do we solve the problem of graffiti? There are, in my opinion, a few options which could at least diminish rather than totally wipe-out acts of graffiti among teenagers. The options which I considered appropriate are outlined below:
·         Graffiti awareness program
·         Creation of an alternative which would enable graffiti doers to practice their artistic skills.
Graffiti awareness program
A graffiti awareness program would include an educational program, an awareness program for the general public and lobbying of graffiti as an issue, which would be widely discussed in every local council's meeting. In educational program, students of Middle and High Schools would be encouraged to participate in essay competitions on graffiti. Teachers would be advised to teach the students that graffiti could not produce any benefit but harm to the victims. Schools would be encouraged to have initiation of any activities which would help students in perceiving that graffiti is wrong and that it should not be done.
The awareness program to the general public would include erecting of signs, which say ' graffiti watch' which is similar to the 'neighborhood watch', in visible public areas and encouraging the general public to observe, alert and report if they come across any cases of graffiti.
Graffiti on public properties, walls and speed limit signs directly affects local council offices in their local administrative tasks. So an issue of graffiti should be included in meeting's agenda in every local council. The issue needs wider discussion among councilors and a resolution is required on how to control widespread abuse of graffiti in the local council's jurisdiction.
Creation of alternative
As discussed above, graffiti is not a serious behavioral disorder and it can be controlled with the aid of the educational program and general awareness to the public. On the other hand, it is necessary to provide facilities for the graffiti doers to practice their painting skill. In the early age of skateboarding, children played skateboard in public and private car parks, such as supermarket's car parks and other private properties. We can still see signs, which say ' skateboarding not allowed' in supermarket's car parks. This came to local council's attention and as a result facilities, such as playgrounds for mountain bike and skateboard, were built for the welfare of the children. Now the general public are concerned that proper scrutiny of graffiti has become a requirement in a community. Is it a good idea that local councils are pressured to provide facilities for spray painting such as walls or wall-like boards just next to the skate boarding ground?
For Burmese Translators:
How can we translate 'graffiti' in Burmese, if possible with minimum Burmese words?

Ethical Obligation

Posted on 11 March, 2011 at 16:08 Comments comments (178)
Kind of questions on ethical obligation
I would like to put a scenario, in which an ethical obligation arose, for you to discuss and I would like to invite other professionals to participate in this discussion as well. I would be quite grateful for any feedback. A little contribution surely can make much difference to me, thanks.
A scenario is that I was given an audio- tape to transcribe the context of my native language into English. The audio- tape is the recording of a police procedure, in which the police investigated the accused person, who does not speak English so that an interpreter was used in the procedure.
What I found out in the content of the audio-tape amazed me. There were a lot of misinterpretations, most of all, because of misinterpretations the accused person was unfairly disadvantaged in relation to his statutory rights.  The interpreter seemed not to be aware of some legal terms such as ' arrest rights', 'submission of forensic procedure, and so on, as a result the accused person had been locked up in contrary to his legal rights. If the accused person had understood his legal rights, he would have been released on bail outright. I thought that it is a critical error at the cause of interpreter's misinterpretation. Our criminal justice system is based on the notions that " Accused person is presumed to be innocent until his guilt has been proven" and "the burden of proof lies with the prosecution'. At the start of the investigation, every accused person, except otherwise prescribed in any provisions contained in any specific law, shall have a right to be released on bail in accordance with the notions and statutory rights. So, in my scenario the accused person had been suffering irreversible damage. It is not fair.
My questions are:
  1. If I transcribe this audio-tape I would critically damage the competency of the interpreter and probably affect the industry and professional solidarity. Please comment.
  2. What if I would be summoned in a court of law to give testimony in relation to the context of misinterpretations? Please discuss.
  3. In this case do I need to inform my agency, which gave me the translation assignment, of the misinterpretation in order to get the agency to take caution in allocating assignments to qualified interpreter in the future?
  4. Now I am disclosing information, which I should keep private, in this forum. Am I in breach of ethical obligation?

Non-verbal Communication

Posted on 5 March, 2011 at 16:52 Comments comments (147)
Non-verbal Communication
Communication Guru said that in communication process it consists of 7% spoken words, 38% of tone of voice and 55% of non-verbal (body language). 
Yes, that's right. I have been taking advantage of the 55% of body language. Most clients I gave my interpreting services came from the refugee background and unfortunately these people couldn't have a chance to have a formal education. Some people of those were born in refugee camp and their communication skills are at lowest level, so that sometime even communicating with the same language they lack understanding to complex nature of the dialogues. When I used body language in addition to verbal interpretation it helps them a lot to understand and on the other hand the body language assured the English speaker that the message is well delivered. 
I recollected a story that I had been told by one of the doctors from Royal Adelaide Hospital, Chest Clinic, while I had been assisting in the process. He said, one remote area in China a farmer was having a meal in his kitchen. A couple of ducks came into the kitchen through a door, which was open. The farmer said, "Get out" pointing his finger to the opening door. At once ducks went out. The doctor told me with a smile on his face that ' wow, animal understands'. I said, yes, it does, it is non-verbal communication. Even if animal understands non-verbal communication human can understand more easily whether they came from refugee background or they have low level of education.  Interpreting is not a big problem if proper body language is used.
Communication has done sometime even if no word is spoken. For example, 'silence denotes admission'.

Learning Computer in Burmese for Elders

Posted on 25 February, 2011 at 15:36 Comments comments (218)

Double Taxation

Posted on 18 February, 2011 at 16:57 Comments comments (74)

Double Taxation: Foreign source Income and Burmese Citizens abroad
 As a general rule, a resident taxpayer has a responsibility to pay tax on worldwide source of income, both domestic and foreign source.  Foreign source income could be employment income, dividends, interests, rents and royalties. Not every foreign source income attracts income tax liability. Employment income is exempt from taxation in most Commonwealth Nations provided that the income is taxed at source country. Employment income includes salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses and allowances.
Even though income that attracts tax liability may have a mechanism to avoid double taxation being imposed by way of tax offset known as Foreign Tax Credit System. These general principles are currently recognized in USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and a few other Commonwealth Countries.  
Burmese Citizens abroad are liable to pay tax to the respective Burmese Embassy. In Australia, every Burmese citizen who holds Burmese Passport (red color) is liable to pay a fixed tax of AUD$ 60.00 per month disregard of source of income, whether it is employment income or dividend or interest income.
Even if one has no income, liability can not be avoided. What will happen if one does not pay a fixed tax of AUD$ 60.00 per month? One of the consequences is that it is unlikely to have his Passport renewed when renewal is due. In every two or three years, Burmese Passports are due for renewal. When it is due, one has to pay tax irrespective of whether he has income or not plus additional renewal fee of previously AUD$260.00. In that way Burmese citizens abroad are taxed. Majority of Burmese citizens abroad are employment income earners rather than other sources. Most income is taxed at source country; therefore, according to principles adopted by Commonwealth countries, such income is exempt from taxation.
However, Burmese citizens in Australia are forced to pay a fixed tax of AUD$ 60.00 per month. In that way double taxation applies to Burmese citizens abroad except to those in Britain in pursuance of paragraph 2 of Nu-Attlee Agreement.

Panglong Agreement

Posted on 11 February, 2011 at 15:46 Comments comments (54)
Panglong Agreement
On this day 12 of February of 64 years ago Panglong Agreement was signed and subsequently the Agreement had become a landmark in Burmese political history. Panglong Agreement was very famous among Burmese and its indigenous peoples due to its impact on independence struggle.
However, apart from its high ranking status in history, we have not been taught about the contents of the Agreement in school. Most people have not had access to its contents. Most politicians, students, scholars and general public have no ideas of what were written in Panglong Agreement. It is a pity on us because its contents had been hidden from public view. Why?
Now, it is show time. Please enjoy reading the original Panglong Agreement. The Agreement was drafted and written by ICS U Tin Htut, brother of Dr. Htin Aung who was a former rector of Rangoon University. Aung San and colleagues were assassinated on the 19 July 1947 before Burma attained independence. U Tin Htut was assassinated after Burma attained independence. After you have completed reading the contents of Panglong Agreement, I would like to advise you to sit on the fence and look at both sides so that you can have a bird's eye view and deliberate what was going on with it. Why the contents had been hidden? Why most people could not have access to it? Individual point of view may be different from each other. My point of view is that it was the instrument for show to both colonists and activists who at the time aimed to achieve and to meet their ends without seriously taking into account for future consequences.
The nature of the instrument was temporary and no longer in force any more, it had long been since in public domain and this is a fair use for the purpose of research and commentary. Therefore, it is believed that copyright has no place for this publication on my blog discussion. I have acknowledged the publisher, her majesty's stationery office, of the book which contains this information and its author, Huge Tinker. Thank you.