Kachin group opposes Aung San statue for Myitkyina

Aung San statue

The Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA) also known as WMR has come out against the building of a statue in the Kachin state capital Myitkyina of the slain Burmese Independence hero general Aung San for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The group sent an official letter to the Kachin state Chief Minister detailing their opposition to the project, says Duwa Lahtaw Hkun Seng, chairman of WMR.

“It is very questionable the idea to set up a bronze statue of general Aung San in Kachin State before any political agreement is made. They are still trying to reach a Panglong agreement and negotiations are ongoing,” Hkun Seng told the Kachinnews.

According to the WMR chairman there are many different opinions regarding the setting up of the general's statue amongst the public in Kachin state. He says his organization is against the plan because now is not the right time for such a statue. According to WMR the statue should be built only after promises made by Aung San regarding the development of a real federal union in Burma are fulfilled. This was also detailed in the letter sent to the Kachin state Chief Minister last month.

“There are still a lot of problems in Kachin State, the jade and timber are gone. People are degenerating, if the statue is set up it means Kachinland will too disappear so we WMR warn them that it is not the right time and they should stop the plan for some time,” the WMR chairman said.

The WMR was established by senior community leaders from the different Kachin sub-groups in 2002.

The statue's backers disagree with WMR's stance. Myat Kyaw Thu the chairman of the organizing committee tasked with building the statue has said that they received permission to set up the statue from the Chief Minister on December 23rd and construction will start from February 13th.

“We hope that setting up the general’s statue will help make his spirit reborn in Burma”, he said.
About the half of the statue was built in Mandalay. The statue will be set up near a street corner close to Myitkyina's No.1 High School, according to the chairman of the committee.