Plans to erect a statue of the late Burmese independence icon Gen Aung San have been postponed in the Chin State town of Thantlang following local objections.
Thantlang’s municipal committee halted plans to set up the statue after local civil society organizations and student groups informed authorities that they would demonstrate against the project on October 15. Thantlang residents have opposed the stationing of a statue of Gen Aung San in the town, suggesting that it would be more fitting to have an ethnic Chin historical figure memorialized there. Aung San, the father of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, was a member of the Burman majority.
“We temporarily postponed the plan to set up the statue of the General in Thantlang. It doesn’t mean we will never build it again,” the committee’s Ngul Haram said.
On October 8, the Thantlang Youth Association, Thantlang Sianghleiruun Chungkar, Chin Family Group, and Chin Women’s Support Organization (CWSO) told authorities of their plan to demonstrate. The next day, the municipal department announced they would postpone the launch of the statue.
Upon the announcement of this decision, CWSO chairperson Talwi Kyar said that the demonstration was called off.
She added that the public park in which the statue would be located would not be called Bogyoke (The General’s) Park, but the Htantlang People’s Park.
“They canceled the plan of setting up a Bogyoke copper statue. So we thank everybody. After they made this promise, we also canceled our plan to demonstrate,” Talwi Kyar said.
The Chin State government previously announced that copper statues of Gen Aung San would be erected in Hakha and Thantlang but would be privately funded and not take money from the national budget.