Burma

Tay Za-Owned Hotel Barred from Hosting Political Trainings

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 16 February 2016

RANGOON — A hotel owned by Burmese business tycoon Tay Za in the country’s capital has been warned by the Naypyidaw Council against sponsoring trainings for political parties.

The notification letter, signed by Col. Min Naung of the council and addressed to Htoo Construction Development Group, stated that 10 companies had in the past been given approval to build hotels in Naypyidaw’s Dekkhinathiri Township with loans provided by the state-owned Myanma Economic Bank with a 15-year repayment option.

Until these loans are paid back in full to the Naypyidaw Development Committee, the capital’s municipal body, the hotels remain state-owned and therefore prohibited from holding meetings for political parties, the letter said.

Among the 10 hotels, the Tay Za-owned Shwe San Eain Hotel reportedly sponsored two trainings in December for incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers, backed by the Asia Green Development Bank, also owned by Tay Za.

Ma Thandar, a Lower House lawmaker with the NLD, who attended one of the party’s training sessions in Rangoon, confirmed that a session was held at the Shwe San Eain Hotel ahead of the new Parliament.

Myo Yan Naung Thein, secretary of the NLD central research management team, which helps to arrange the trainings, posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday that he asked Tay Za to help provide training space and that the government was trying to stop NLD trainings.

Chit Khine, owner of the Hilton Myanmar Hotel, also included on the list, said that he has agreed to follow the rules stipulated by the Naypyidaw Council.

“There was no punishment mentioned in the letter to us, just restrictions,” he said.

The NLD has accepted donations from so-called “cronies” in the past, including at a fundraiser event held to mark the second anniversary of the founding of its Rangoon education network, for which Tay Za’s Htoo Group of Companies contributed funds. Tay Za remains on a US blacklist preventing American companies from doing business with him.

NLD party members, including chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi, have denied there is any ethical dilemma involved in accepting money, saying that it is a matter of convenience.

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