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Myanmar’s Hero Was Killed Here. Now U.S. Brands are Setting up Stalls.

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The Secretariat “is regarded as being associated with nationwide mourning, commemorating independence struggles and remembering selfless efforts of our national leaders,” Ms. Moe Moe Lwin said in an email on Tuesday. “For the general public it could be acceptable to use for art and cultural plus some business-related activities, but not for fun-related events, such as concerts.”

She added that the entire site had heritage value, including its middle courtyard, where annual memorial ceremonies are held.

On Tuesday, two American brands with outlets in Myanmar defended their participation in Nightfest.

“This is just an American-Myanmar cultural exchange, and we are participating because we want to promote our brand,” said Khaing Nyein Mo, a spokeswoman for The Hard Rock Cafe Yangon. “I don’t think the event will be unruly, as people are suggesting on social media, because it’s not a free event.”

Eye Cheint Cheint Chu, the marketing manager for Krispy Kreme Myanmar, said she was aware of the criticism but had no comment on it.

“As our Krispy Kreme is an American franchise brand, we will participate in Nightfest at the Secretariat because the event’s purpose is to exchange U.S. and Myanmar culture,” she said.

Others said they were looking forward to the party.

Ei Thinzar Maung, 24, said she was excited for the night bazaar because the tickets, which cost about $3 for locals, were affordable. “I don’t mind if it’s in the Secretariat,” she added. “It’ll be nice to see the place at night.”

R. Zarni, a Myanmar singer who is scheduled to perform at the event, said his wife had accepted his invitation on his behalf, and that he had been too busy to notice the criticism.

“I just focus on singing,” he said.


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