Businesses threatened with closure for 'No' vote

Apr 30, 3008 (DVB)−Owners of beauty and massage parlours in Rangoon are the latest to face pressure from the city authorities to vote Yes in the upcoming referendum, according to Rangoon residents.

The business owners have been threatened with closure if they do not vote in favour of the new constitution.

A resident of Rangoon’s Lanmadaw township told DVB that owners of beauty parlours and massage businesses were called to a meeting on 27 April at around 7pm by township authorities who ordered them to vote Yes in the referendum.

"Over 100 beauty and massage parlour owners were told at the meeting that they and all their employees must vote Yes," said the Lanmadaw man.

"The township chairman said their businesses would be shut down if they refused to do so."

The Burmese government has been putting pressure on a number of groups, including government workers and farmers, ahead of the 10 May national referendum on the draft constitution.

The government is running an ongoing campaign of incentives and intimidation aimed at persuading people to vote in favour of the new constitution.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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