More than half of the 100 elected lawmakers in Shan State’s Parliament sent an objection letter to the state government this week in response to a plan to open a night bazaar inside Yawnghwe (Nyaung Shwe) Haw, the residence of Burma’s first President Sao Shwe Thaike.
Hotels and tourism minister U Ohn Maung said in early September that the residence would be turned into a heritage tourist site open two nights a week from 6pm to 11pm, with the help of French experts.
Nang Khin Htar Yee, a Shan Nationalities League for Democracy lawmaker representing Shan State’s Hsenwi Township, said there has been no response from the chief minister to the objection letter, which was signed by 61 lawmakers and sent on Monday.
State lawmakers met with Shan State chief minister Lin Htut at the end of September to discuss the issue.
“He [Lin Htut] told us the plan would not proceed. We asked for this in writing, which he still has not provided,” Khin Htar Yee told The Irrawaddy.
She stated that the residence should remain a cultural museum rather than be turned into a tourist attraction.
“We have to preserve our cultural heritage. It is a valuable legacy from our first President and we all—not only the Shan State people but all the people of Burma—must value this,” Khin Htar Yee said.
If an answer is not received, the lawmaker said the question would be raised in Parliament when it resumes next month.
The lawmakers who object to the plan are from more than half a dozen political parties, including the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Union Solidarity and Development Party, Pa-O National Liberation Organization, the Ta’ang (Palaung) National Party, Kokang Democracy and Unity Party and the ruling National League for Democracy.
Last week, the outspoken former Lower House lawmaker Nang Wah Nu of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) also said it objected to the plan. The SNDP did not win any seats in the 2015 election.