Tuesday, July 25, 2017

MIC talks projects with senior monks

Government officials met with Shwedagon Pagoda’s Senior Sayardaw Committee last week to discuss several nearby construction projects, a member of Shwedagon Pagoda’s trustee committee U Win Kyai told The Myanmar Times.

The chair of the Myanmar Investment Commission and Minister of Energy U Zay Yar Aung, the Minister of Religious Affairs U Soe Win and director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration U Aung Naing Oo, met with the committee on May 17.

“Minister U Zay Yar Aung and U Aung Naing Oo explained that they wanted to ensure the Dagon City projects and other projects near Shwedagon Pagoda would not trouble the senior monks,” said U Win Kyai.

“The ministers told them that the projects would not affect Shwedagon Pagoda, and that they would proceed according to the law.”

Five mixed-use development projects near to the Shwedagon and Alan Pya pagodas were temporarily suspended earlier this year amid public criticism about their impact on the religious and cultural sites.

Some feared that the view of Shwedagon would be blocked, while others called for environmental impact assessment studies to ensure that the foundations of Shwedagon would not be harmed.

“I don’t know the details of the discussion, as I was not involved, so I can’t say for certain what was said. My role was to arrange the meeting between the ministers and the senior monks,” said an officer at the Yangon Regional Religious Department, U Sein Maw.

Protecting Shwedagon Pagoda is very important for Myanmar citizens and Buddhist people, he added.

Naga Hlainggu Kalaywa monastery sayadaw U Zagara, Insein Ywama sayadaw U Tiloka Biwuntha and six other senior monks attended the meeting.

U Zagara said that the reason he has not had to say anything about the projects is because they are being overseen by experts.

It will be managed without affecting Shwedagon Pagoda, said U Win Kyai.