Authorities use Thingyan floats to campaign for "Yes" vote

Apr 18, 2008 (DVB), Mandalay residents celebrating Thingyan were surprised to see floats laid on by the authorities driving round the city during the festivities calling on people to vote "Yes" in the upcoming referendum.

One resident of the southern part of Mandalay said she had watched the floats pass by.

"At first we thought they were regular Thingyan floats like in other years, but instead of singing Thingyan songs they sang, 'Let's go to the polling station and vote yes'," she said.

The float was accompanied by the local fire brigade and members of the Swan Arr Shin militia on motorcycles.

Also in Mandalay, a fire broke out to the east of Yadanabon market, on the corner of 34th, 75th and 76th streets, on 13 April, the first day of Thingyan.

A Mandalay resident said five houses were destroyed in the blaze.

"The fire broke out at around 5am, and the wind was blowing hard," he said.

"The fire was put out quickly, but because the wind was blowing so hard, five houses were burned down immediately."

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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