President Displeased with Rerouting of Railroad Through Arakan's Ancient City
Mrauk U: Burmese President U Thein Sein has expressed displeasure over the railroad that was built through the main archaeological site in Mrauk U in western Burma's Arakan State has to be rerouted because of protests by local residents.
The president is said to have stated that rerouting the railroad has caused "national loss and delay for the development schemes," during his meeting with two local lawmakers during his visit to the town last Friday.
He added that the president called him and his colleague U Kyaw Kyaw to a separate meeting and talked about nothing more than his displeasure over the railroad that had to be re-planned.
U Aung Tun Tha is a member of the people's parliament, while U Kyaw Kyaw is a member of the national parliament. Both of them are residents of the town and were elected from the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party.
"The president also told us that it is not good to spread news without necessity and ordered us to consult with the national government if anything matters. He said because of the wide-spreading news, the proposed plan of the railroad had been ruined and re-planning to divert the route has caused a great delay for opening it in time," said U Aung Tun Tha.
Many invaluable ancient cultural and religious monuments, including pagodas, moats, and city walls, were destroyed in November 2010 by the Burmese regime to make way for the railway being built to link the capital Sittwe in the north with Ann, a military town in the south. The original route went through the main archaeological zone in Mrauk U.
The regime stopped demolition for the railway after facing public protests. Pagodas on the Thazintan Hills, Ngakyin Ai Moat, Raehla Moat, Raehla Fortress, Minthamee Moat, Shwezinkha Pathway, Ahmyinttaung Raehla Fortress, and Pyisoegyi Pagoda have already been destroyed, while many more famous pagodas and monuments, including Koe Thaung Pagoda, were being threatened by the proposed route.
It has been learnt from the MPs that the authorities have already drawn a new plan to divert the railroad from the former route that was protested by local residents.
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