Henry Meets Openly With Burmese Community

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

June 18, 2010 Updated Mar 22, 2010 at 5:58 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry met with members of the Burmese community Monday morning over the issue involving a sign posted at a local business.

City leaders say there are a few areas where they can help Burmese immigrants ans refugees in Fort Wayne.

They say helping new immigrants learn the English language and helping them acquire safe means of transportation are keys to their existence in Fort Wayne.

Meanwhile, the whole situation became publicized after a Ricker's laundromat sign said "For Sanitary Purposed There Are No Burmese People Allowed", after sources say several had urinated and spat on the floor.

While the owner has apologized, Burmese protests ensued, ending with a full display outside of the Allen County Courthouse earlier this month.

Mayor Henry says the incident provides an instant opportunity for cultural education.

Mayor Henry said, “There is certainly a need for cultural education for both Burmese immigrants and refugees and our entire community. Our city must develop ways to provide tools for integration.”

"This is a really good outcome. We hope the mayor will continue cooperating with us, while trying our best to promote in the Burmese community", said Burmese American Community Coordinator Maung Maung Soe.

Indiana's NewsCenter has also learned Burmese leaders are making plans to open a community center on the city's south side to help immigrants adjust to living in Fort Wayne.

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