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After protest, Myanmar govt cancels liquor licences at historic Secretariat

The General Administration Department cancelled the liquor licences of two restaurants at the Secretariat complex in downtown Yangon after strong public opposition, a Yangon regional legislator said Monday.

The two restaurants had rented space at the newly restored Secretariat, where independence leader Bogyoke Aung San and six government ministers were assassinated by a paramilitary group in 1947.

U Aung Htoo, a member of Yangon Region Assembly for Botahtaung township, said the township cancelled the two licences.

Several establishments, mostly restaurants, have opened in the Secretariat building since its restoration.

Last year, a branch of the De Beau Wellness Centre, a Singapore-based chain of spas, was blocked from renting space in the building due to strong public opposition.

Yangon-based bank, Kanbawza Bank, is financing the restoration of the Secretariat. The plans for the complex include two museums as well as commercial spaces.

Originally known as the Minister’s Building, its construction was completed in 1905. It was the administrative centre of British Burma and became the seat of the Myanmar government after independence in 1948.

For most of the 50 years of military rule, the building was used as government offices, until 2005 when Nay Pyi Taw was named the country’s capital. During the next decade, the complex was closed to the public except during the commemoration of the assassination of Bogyoke Aung San and his ministers.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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