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Chin students oppose Aung San statue

Burmese independence hero, father of the nation, and founder of the Tatmadaw, Gen. Aung San (1915 - 1947)

A group of ethnic Chin university students are opposing municipal plans to erect a statue of Burma’s independence hero Bogyoke Aung San in the state’s Htantlang Township.

The students have issued a list of five demands, one of which is that the state budget be reserved for development projects. They also called for the Union government to designate Chin National Day as an official holiday in the state.

“Chin State is the least developed region in the country,” said spokesperson Mai Vang Miel. “So, instead of using such a large sum of money to build a statue, we would like the budget to be utilised elsewhere – such as for education and local development.”

The Chin students said they believed a budget of 30 million kyat [US$22,500] had been set aside for construction of the bronze statue.

Aung San, who is the father of State Counsellor Suu Kyi, is widely accredited with winning independence from the British in 1947. However, he was assassinated before he saw the plan come to fruition. Although revered by Burmans, his popularity is not generally perceived as being not so strong among ethnic peoples.