Tag Archives: myanmar times

Australian expat in Myanmar: my interview on expatsblogs.com

Here’s a snippet of my interview about being an expat in Myanmar, which was published on expatsblog.com

Feeding a beer at Yangon Zoo
Feeding a beer at Yangon Zoo

Jessica Mudditt is a journalist at The Myanmar Times and she has lived outside her home country of Australia for the past seven years. Jessica moved to Myanmar in July 2012 and her blog contains feature articles, light-hearted accounts of life in Myanmar, book reviews, photo essays and short documentary style films made during her travels. Jessica was accredited as a newspaper journalist in the United Kingdom in 2009 and afterwards moved to Bangladesh, where she worked for Bangladeshi newspapers for almost three years. She lives with her Bangladeshi husband in Yangon and hopes to travel extensively throughout Myanmar in the coming months and years – the best bits of which will be published on her blog.

Here’s the interview with Jessica…

Where are you originally from?

Melbourne, Australia

In which country and city are you living now?

Yangon, Myanmar.

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?

With reporters at The Myanmar Times Christmas Party 2012
With reporters at The Myanmar Times Christmas Party 2012

I came here in July 2012 and hope to stay at least until the elections are held in 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, boycotted the 2010 elections, however she is now a member of parliament. Although constitutionally she is ineligible to be president because she married a foreigner, there has been so much positive change in Myanmar since 2010 that I think the lead up to 2015 will be fascinating to observe. Myanmar is a very exciting place to live right now.

Why did you move and what do you do?

I moved because I was offered a job at The Myanmar Times. I had been living in Bangladesh for almost three years, working for the United Nations as a stringer and as a special correspondent for a national newspaper called The Independent. I had no idea I would live in Bangladesh so long – I initially came from London to do a six month internship with another Bangladeshi newspaper called The Daily Star. It was an incredible time for me, both professionally and personally (I married my translator!), however Dhaka is one of the world’s most densely populated cities and after a few years I began to feel worn down and longed for a new opportunity.

My husband and I at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
My husband and I at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

I work for The Myanmar Times as features supplement editor and really love it.

Did you bring family with you?

Yes, my husband Sherpa came with me and he is now the editor-in-chief of another newspaper in Yangon, called Myanmar Business Today. It took us a few months longer to arrive than we hoped because getting visas from Bangladesh was difficult. We also brought our cat and have since adopted a street dog called Ripley.

Click here to read the full interview…

Myanmar Times co-founder freed

Published in The Myanmar Times on 24 April 2013

Sonny Swe at Yangon Airport. Photo: Ko Taik/The Myanmar Times
Sonny Swe at Yangon Airport. Photo: Ko Taik/The Myanmar Times

The Myanmar Times’ co-founder U Myat Swe (Sonny) was released from Taunggyi Prison in Shan State yesterday, as part of a government amnesty releasing 93 prisoners.

U Myat Swe received a 14-year sentence in 2005 for bypassing censorship regulations and had served eight-and-a-half years at the time the amnesty was granted.

He was greeted at 11am by about 30 colleagues from The Myanmar Times at Yangon Airport, as well as his wife, Yamin Htin Aung and his 18-year-old son, Nicholas Swe. The President Office spokesman Ye Htut said in a Facebook post that 93 people were given a presidential pardon on Tuesday.

The Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) told Irrawaddy yesterday that 59 people being imprisoned for political reasons were among those released, including 19 political prisoners and 40 Shan rebel soldiers.

Prisoners were released from Yangon’s Insein Prison, Mandalay’s Obo, Myingyan, and Pakkoku prisons, Thayawady prison in Bago and Thayet in Magway Region.

AAPP joint secretary, Bo Kyi, said that more than 200 political prisoners remain in Myanmar’s prisons. This includes U Myat Swe’s father, Brigadier General Thein Swe, who was a senior member of the now-disbanded Military Intelligence department. No information about U Thein Swe’s possible release is currently known.

The partnership between The Myanmar Times editor-in-chief Ross Dunkley and U Myat Swe was created in 2000 and it was Myanmar’s first foreign media joint venture.