Myanmar Carlsberg may face lawsuit

Yangon – The family of composer Myoma Nyein threatened a lawsuit against Myanmar Carlsberg for not removing the words ‘tu po’ from its Tuborg beer within a “reasonable time”.

Relatives of the composer demanded the phrase be removed within a week at the press conference on January 15 and apologies in newspapers, among others.

They called for three days of apologies in newspapers, a pledge not to use the phrase again on its beer bottles or cans and to give a date by which the phrase would have disappeared from shop shelves.

Zaw Myo Oo, a grandson of Myoma Nyein and son of artist Paw Oo Thet, said at the press conference last week: “The company did not apologise in newspapers. It did not withdraw the products which had been distributed already or say when the phrase ‘tu po’ would be totally removed. It just said it would be removed but took no further action for us. We are going to make a legal claim. We want the world to know that a company like Carlsberg uses the art of Myanmar, which has a weak legal system, without accountability.”

According to Shun Myaing, another relative, Myanmar Carlsberg executives, led by its managing director, had a conversation with the family.

“They told us that they are removing the words ‘tu po’ before the Thingyan [water festival]. However, they did not tell us the exact date. Then they asked for 10 more days again and we accepted. Worst of all, they have not met us again after that and there is a rumour that we made an agreement since we took compensation.”

Tu po is the most famous Burmese term to describe the tradition of its water festival – Thingyan in Myanmar and Songkran in Thailand. It is also the title of the most famous song of composer Myoma Nyein. Written in the 1940s, the song is still played today across Myanmar during the festival in April.

The company released a statement on March 3, saying that the logo had already been replaced with English script.

It also expressed its disappointment that the family still felt “it necessary to pursue legal action”. Apologising to the artist’s fans and the public, it insisted that the use of the phrase was in good faith. It also expressed hope that the family would reconsider and choose to resolve the issue through a dialogue.

Source: Eleven Media

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