Insightful comments/efforts on activating Myanmar (Burma)

My recent posting on the lack of DXpeditions to Zone 26 generated a thread on eHam’s DX forum and some interesting email.

Some of those emails are from Simon HS0ZIB – G6JFY who is currently living in Burma and making gradual efforts that he hopes will amount to Burmese authorities seeing the value to its citizens of ham radio.

From Simon, with permission to post:

I’ve been living in Burma (Myanmar) for a year now, and using all my contacts and ingenuity to get an XZ licence. I cannot say that I am any closer to securing that licence yet, although one never knows.

For starters, I do not believe that the Myanmar government will allow a DXpedition to XZ by foreigners who do not reside in the country. Although this was allowed before in the 1990s/early 2000s, the feedback that I have obtained so far from my government contacts is that an XZ licence would only be issued to a foreigner if he/she:

  • Lived and worked in Myanmar
  • Had good local references
  • Had contributed to the welfare of local citizens (work, not money!)
  • Is integrated into the community (which means learning Burmese language)

The Ministry of Communications is very busy with their new telecoms law (which includes no provision for ham radio). They simply have no interest in ham radio right now. My main efforts are to convince them of the benefit of ham radio in the areas of disaster comms and encouraging young people to get an interest in technical subjects.

I’ve learnt also that no ‘junior’ person in the Ministry will sign off an XZ licence. The only person who will do this is the Minister himself, and if he sees no personal benefit, then he is unlikely to sign off. So my efforts are also to build up contacts with senior people in the Ministry with a view to building a relationship with the Minister himself. I already speak, read and write basic Burmese, and this knowledge has also helped me to make some good contacts.

I can only do this with the help of well-placed local citizens. The Minister will not be interested in any foreign intervention (IARU etc), unless it comes at Ambassador level – which is unlikely.

I have some meetings arranged in Naypyidaw in December. These will not secure me my XZ licence, but may move me a small step closer!

Thanks for this info, Simon. Recent developments in Myanmar clearly indicate a trend away from previous isolationism. Hopefully ham radio is in their future at some point.

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  1 comment for “Insightful comments/efforts on activating Myanmar (Burma)

  1. Charly
    May 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

    May 4, 2013 at 12:11
    Simon… Hams certainly hope you have a valid XZ ham license. I suggest you could help by putting your paperwork on one of your web sites. A nice clear presentation we can all look at.
    3-5-2013 query to ARRL DXCC official reports that ARRL has not received any documentation from you to date. There is no confusion about what papers ARRL will want. Submit your license copy; the name, authority title/govt branch name, and contact information of the person and office issuing the license; and photographs of your self in XZ locations that clearly show your body present there is usually all ARRL needs. You have had over a year to send that documentation to ARRL.
    Currently, information given me by various sources and a ham actually going to the proper office in the new capital city all report that the issuance of ham operating permits from the national government do not exist and can not exist at this time to anyone. Further, reports indicate that there is no authority inside that nation to grant operating permits at any govt level, local or otherwise.
    It is this information that makes it so highly urgent that you just post your license/paperword on the Web.
    Please help all hams in South East Asia present a fact and an image of legal ham activities because even one fake or rump activity can spread problems to many in the whole area. Thanks, 73
    May 4, 2013 at 12:48
    Simon… Regarding your message here of 5-9-2012. Please note that Myanmar national capital city is Naypyidaw, not Yongon. This change-over happened in 2006, and this new city is now populated and all national govt offices are located there. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naypyidaw
    Further, the Region of Tanintharyi is NOT one of the self-administered States in Myanmar which indicates it is under the direct administrative authority located in Naypyidaw, the national government. Thus, it appears that it is impossible for you to have a valid ham permit from any official in Tanintharyi Region. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_divisions_of_Burma
    I strongly urge you to help protect the integrity of and current delicate situation of ham licensing in all of S.E.Asia. One bad apple here can upset the area where people have worked hard to obtain what ham radio now has but could lose in a moments notice.
    Because the Wiki Web sites noted here, seemingly correct, indicate your operation of any ham radio as you have publically described it is NOT VALID, I urge you to realign your statements with the facts of this situation. Please help SEA keep what ham permissions we have.
    Tnx, 73, Charly K4VUD

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