News Summary: Myanmar telecom deal sparks ire

News Summary: Decision to give telecom contracts to Muslim firms sparks ire in Myanmar

Associated Press

TELECOMS TENSION: Myanmar's religious tensions spread Friday to the world of big business: Monks and others in the Buddhist-dominated country demanded to know why a lucrative license for a new national mobile phone network had gone to a company from a Muslim nation.

QATARI OWNED: Norway's Telenor was one of the two winners announced Thursday. Ooredoo, majority owned by the Qatari government, was the other.

DEEP POCKETS: Set Aung, chairman of the government panel handling the tender, defended Ooredoo, which has operations in more than a dozen countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia as the "best choice." It also has deep pockets, promising to pump part of its cash pile into the network.

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