Myanmar University Rector Forced to Retire Over Dodgy Contract
By Zarni Mann 29 January 2020
Mandalay – The Ministry of Education says it will force the rector of Mandalay University to retire amid allegations over a food court construction on the campus.
The rector failed to follow the President’s Office’s orders to be transparent in the tender process, the ministry said.
Mandalay University Students Union protests led to a probe into Dr. Thida Win by the ministry’s investigation committee in September.
“Dr. Thida Win has failed to follow regulations over the construction of the food court at Mandalay University. The ministry gave her the order to retire on Jan. 28,” said the announcement.
The students union said further action was needed.
“The rector’s retirement is not the answer. The investigation committee still needs to reveal the facts they have found during the investigation. And we still need to know how the other university authorities will be punished and what will happen to the food court,” said Ko Htet Wai Yan, the president of the students union.
The students’ organization said it would meet Wednesday to decide whether to continue the protest.
“We urge the ministry to tell us what will happen with the food court and how it will prevent further mismanagement,” he added.
The food court was built in 2019 on a 715-square-meter plot near the football field.
The Oriental House, a restaurant in Mandalay, was due to operate the site.
The Students Union said the rector failed to follow the tender rules issued by the President’s Office in early 2017. They claimed she let a business owner who was close to her build and operate the food court without transparency.
The 2017 rules say construction projects and the renewal or leasing of buildings or land owned by the government must be open to the public and published at least twice in state-owned newspapers.
The students union in August sent complaints to the President’s Office, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Mandalay regional government and the Ministry of Education.
A protest camp was set up in September.
Dr. Thida Win was unavailable for comment.