Manyu Kyaw (Shwe Wa Mray) Narinjara News, 11 October 2014:
The restaurants located in Ngapali sea beach of Arakan face prohibition from the big hotel owners.
At least 28 restaurants, owned by local people of Ngapali sea beach in Thandway district, were restricted by the hotel business tycoons in their selling, informed local sources.
“We are facing difficult times. If we have to close our restaurants, we will be jobless and our whole families will suffer. We have no other livelihood at this moment,” said Daw Ma Khaing, owner of Ngapali Bar in Mya Pyin village.
One can see a number of small restaurants, run by local families, on the Ngapali sea beach of Mya Pyin quarter and Loonthar quarter. They are surviving with the restaurants for many years.
Daw Ma Khaing also informed that there was no such prohibition earlier. She lamented that they had no jobs in the rainy season and the prohibition comes in the winter to increase their troubles.
The big hotels are mostly owned by the outsiders and lot of farmlands was confiscated for the construction of the hotel buildings. Losing their lands, many local families started businesses with restaurants for their survival.
“We believe the tourists will find difficulties without the small restaurants. So we should be allowed to run the business. But yes I agree that the restaurants should be clean and hygiene,” said Ko Tun Tun, the owner of Sunset View restaurant.
His comment is significant as the hotel owners always allege that the restaurants do not maintain cleanliness. The tourists, who are staying in the hotels, may get ill after consuming dirty foods from the restaurants and then the hotel managements will responsible for that, pointed out a hotel owners’ representative.
Of course, Daw Ma Khaing denied the allegation and argued that they maintained proper cleanliness drives. She insisted that the tourists liked their food items as those are fresh and clean.
Now the restaurant owners are planning to meet the hotel managements to resolve the matter. They have also approached the local authorities mentioning about their difficulties.
Narinjara News tried to get feedbacks from the hotel managements and also the local authorities, but no response was made available by the parties concerned.
Meanwhile, the Mya Pyin village headman U Myin Zaw expressed hope that the issue would be resolved soon, otherwise he asserted that nobody wants to see the villagers starve after the closure of the beach restaurants.