Analysts: Myanmar Government Statue Drive Risks Alienating Ethnic Groups

A nationwide drive in Myanmar to build statues of independence hero General Aung San risks further alienating ethnic minority groups in the country, and could impact the ruling party’s performance in upcoming elections, analysts say. Aung San, who is the father of National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is popular in large parts of the country, particularly in the Bamar-majority heartlands. However, in the ethnic minority-dominated border regions, critics say the statues are a sign of continued “Burmanization” and that they would prefer to see statues depicting heroes that belong to their own ethnic group. “The government should consult with [local people] if they want to build the [Aung San] statue there,” said Mie Mie, a civil society leader in Kayah State, where widespread protests have been held against a planned Aung San statue. “If we’re going to have statues, it should be of heroes in our state.” Ethnic minorities have long been distrustful of a central government dominated by the Bamar-majority. Shortly before then-Burma gained independence from the British in 1948, members of ethnic minority groups signed a deal that would provide them with “full autonomy,” but the agreement was never fulfilled. The distrust was heightened over decades of military rule, particularly amid brutal fighting between the Bamar-dominated Tatmadaw and ethnic armed groups operating in the border regions. Despite some moves towards peace, much of that fighting continues today. After the NLD convincingly won the 2015 general election, many ethnic minorities hoped the situation would change, but distrust has continued to grow. After coming to power, Aung San Suu Kyi promised to make the peace process a priority, but has made limited progress. Meanwhile, many members of ethnic minority groups now regard Aung San Suu Kyi as being closely aligned with the Tatmadaw. Statue building... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Analysts: Myanmar Government Statue Drive Risks Alienating Ethnic Groups, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Analysts: Myanmar Government Statue Drive Risks Alienating Ethnic Groups





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 28 September, 2018



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