Night mar­ket plan in Shan Palace stirs backlash

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - – Khin Su Wai

A group of 61 MPs have launched a pe­ti­tion against the govern­ment’s plan to in­stall a twice-weekly night mar­ket at the Nyaung Shwe (Yawnghwe) Palace site.

PLANS to host a night mar­ket in the palace of Sao Shwe Thaik, the last of the saophas and first pres­i­dent of post-in­de­pen­dence Burma, have hit a snag, with Shan MPs ral­ly­ing against the idea.

A group of MPs have launched a pe­ti­tion against the Union govern­ment’s plan for the Nyaung Shwe (Yawnghwe) Palace site.

The pe­ti­tion was signed by 61 law­mak­ers, who will submit it to the govern­ment in­clud­ing the head of the Shan State parliament, the Shan Na­tion­al­i­ties League for Democ­racy, and the Min­istry of Ho­tels and Tourism.

The letter was for­mally sub­mit­ted on Novem­ber 1, but no re­ply has been re­ceived as yet, SNLD (Theinni 1) MP Daw Nan Khin Htar Yee told The Myan­mar Times.

“We made com­plaints against the plan since Septem­ber, but there has been no re­ply. We will wait and see,” she said.

The plan to open a night mar­ket as a tourism ini­tia­tive has re­ceived very lit­tle sup­port from the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Sao Hay­mar Htaike, the daugh­ter of Sao Shwe Thaike, has been lob­by­ing the govern­ment for own­er­ship of the fam­ily palace to be re­turned.

Ho­tels and Tourism Min­is­ter U Ohn Myint told the lower house on Septem­ber 7 that the plan had been to hold a night mar­ket in the his­toric palace two nights per week. He said the funds raised would sup­port the palace’s restora­tion and preser­va­tion, but added that the plan was in its early stages.

Ko Moe from the Myan­mar Al­liance for Trans­parency and Ac­count­abil­ity told The Myan­mar Times that he did not sup­port the plan. He said the site is im­bued with a great sig­nif­i­cance for eth­nic Shan peo­ple.

“The palace has many mean­ings. Ev­ery win­dow and lad­der has mean­ing. We don’t want to see this his­toric place be­come a bustling area,” he said.

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