5 May 2017:
Public Health Foundation chair Dr Than Sein said that three pagodas in Mandalay will be defined as no-smoking zones to protect visitors paying homage. He was speaking on Wednesday at a workshop on establishing smoke-free areas.
“Women and children are among the visitors to the pagodas. Pregnant women and parents are also among them and thus we plan to ban it. We plan to make those areas free from cigarette smoke,” said Dr Than Sein.
The three pagodas are the Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, which is a tourist attraction site, Maha Lawka Marrazein, where world-heritage-listed stone inscriptions are located, and Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda.
Pagoda trustee secretary U Kyaw Kyaw Oo said that signboards would be put up stating ‘gain merit by not smoking or chewing betel quid’.
“If that method fails, we will start imposing fines. Details will be discussed with leading monks,” he said.
He added that no-smoking areas had been defined in the past but enforcement had been weak.
Dr Than Sein said in due time in cooperation with the other trustees of the board, the no smoking zone will apply to other pagodas.
– Translation by Zaw Nyunt