Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Abbot will not hand over ancient Mrauk-U Buddha statues

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 16:32 Zwe Khant

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Thirty-six ancient Buddha statues unearthed at Lawka Myinzu pagoda in Yadana Theinkha in Mrauk-U in western Burma will not be handed over to the state archeology department, according to reidents.

A visitor to Mrauk-U, an ancient city in northern Arakan
State, enters Sakya Manaung Pagoda. Three pagodas
at the national heritage site were damaged during
construction of the Kyauktaw-Mrauk-U section of the
Sittwe-Ann-Minbu railway. Photo: Mizzima
Abbot U Wayameinda told more than 2,000 people who attended a sermon-meeting on Monday that he would resist moves to send the ancient Buddha statues to the state Archeology Department under the Ministry of Culture.

Buddha statues and other relics were found while construction work was going on at Lawka Myinzu Pagoda in Yadana Theinkha in old Mrauk-U city. The largest relic, a Buddha statue, weighed 4 viss, 64 ticals (16.7 lbs) and was 12-inches high. Mrauk-U, the ancient city of Rakhine Kingdom (15th Century), is known for its old temples with wall paintings of Indian cultural influence.

“The abbot told local people that the new government must respect the people unlike their predecessors. If the government forcibly moves the statues, he is determined to sacrifice his life to defend the statues,” a resident said.

The abbot’s talk was attended by residents from Kyauktaw, Minbya, Ahpauk Wa, Peletwa and Mrauk-U.

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