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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...

 

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