Billboards in Myanmar's commercial capital that feature scantily clad women will be torn down and replaced with advertisements featuring more culturally appropriate images, the government said Saturday.
Yangon Mayor Brig. Gen. Aung Thein Lin, commenting in an edition of the Voice journal, said models in mini skirts on advertisements for everything from skin creams to car lubricants were too provocative. He said the ads should be replaced with ones showing women in more conservative clothing.
Aung Thein Lin did not say when authorities would order the billboards to be changed or what the new guidelines for culturally appropriate clothing would be. But he said owners whose billboards were torn down would be compensated.
Myanmar, which is run by a military junta, is one of Asia's most impoverished and isolated countries. But in the past five years, Western culture has started seeping into the country. Hip-hop is now among the most popular types of music and young people have traded in their traditional sarongs and blouses for shorts and T-shirts.
Billboards featuring the latest hip-hop and heavy metal bands stand alongside weathered signs promoting the military junta's accomplishments. There are also plenty of billboards that attack its archenemy, the United States.