Mandalay traders to quit pagodas

Traders had been told not to conduct businesses in monastery compounds in Mandalay Region and the government will arrange an alternative place where they can do their businesses.

“Some people are doing business in monastery compounds. Please don’t do it. They can apply for a place (land) at the regional government and we will consider, and place them there,” said Mandalay Region Shan Ethnic Affairs Minister U Sai Kyaw Zaw.

“We will support those who really want to do small-scale businesses,” added U Sai Kyaw Zaw.

Although they were instructed to move from the monastery compound in July, the government suspended the order as it was Buddhist Lent. But they trades have to vacate the premises starting this month.

The shops had been asked to relocate because some were illicit businesses such as illegal teak, vehicles, weapons and explosive materials, said U Khin Maung Tint, director for the region’s Department of Religious Affairs.

“It is not a big problem to move our business. The problem is that the shop rentals are very expensive. We only earn small profits and can’t afford the rent,” said U San Maung, an onion trader based near the Eain Taw Yar pagoda compound, in Chan Aye Tharzan township.

According to a 2016 survey, there are 9755 monasteries in Mandalay Region. The most common businesses in monastery compounds are car servicing, bean and coffee trading, according to the Department of Religious Affairs.

“There are many gamblers at the monasteries and they should be removed. I feel sorry for the people who are doing businesses in monastery compounds because they can’t afford outside premises,” said U Moe Win, a resident from Ou Poke Taw wark.

Traders who want to apply for a place need to submit their business status to the authorities and they will be relocated to the Mandalay industrial zone or Myotha industrial zone, according to the minister.

Source: Myanmar Times

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