Lo­cals re­ject pro­posed Shan par­lia­ment site to save trees

The Myanmar Times - - News - THU THU AUNG thuthuaung@mm­times.com

A PRO­POSED Shan par­lia­ment build­ing will have to find a new lo­ca­tion af­ter lo­cals and po­lit­i­cal par­ties ob­jected to the re­moval of 150-yearold trees.

Shan Hlut­taw Chair Sai Lone Hseng (USDP; Keng­tung 1) promised the com­mu­nity that the project will be re­lo­cated to hon­our the will of the peo­ple.

The pro­posed area in Taung­gyi town­ship’s Thit­taw ward is home to 80 old pine and eu­ca­lyp­tus trees.

“They chose that area be­cause the project is a top pri­or­ity and the area was so close to the old build­ing,” said res­i­dent U Aung Kyaw Naing, who met with the chair. “The chair said the project will move else­where dur­ing the 2016-17 bud­get year.”

The Na­tional League for Democ­racy and Shan Na­tion­al­i­ties League for Democ­racy (SNLD) pub­lished state­ments ad­dressed to Shan State Min­is­ter U Lin Htut (NLD; Lashio 1), ob­ject­ing to the lo­ca­tion.

Hlut­taw of­fice di­rec­tor U Kyaw Thu Zaw said he did not re­ceive a let­ter op­pos­ing the project.

“Ev­ery place has a tree,” he said. “With­out cut­ting down a tree, no build­ing can be built.”

U Aung Kyaw Naing said the area was the last place along the town­ship’s main road with 150-year-old trees.

On July 19, MP Daw Nang San San Aye (SNLD; Hsi­paw 1), who was a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee tasked with dol­ing out the con­tract for the new build­ing, ad­vised the group to con­sider the pub­lic’s re­ac­tion to the project lo­ca­tion, given the pres­ence of the old trees. Com­mu­nity elder Sai Tun Mya sug­gested they build the project else­where and add a gar­den to the pro­posed area.

On Au­gust 14, lo­cals tied robes to the trees to show their re­spect for them.

A sign cam­paign was aimed at the Shan State min­is­ter.

The cur­rent par­lia­ment build­ing was opened in 1955. Some lo­cals would like to see it ren­o­vated and used as a his­tor­i­cal par­lia­ment build­ing.

The par­lia­ment chair ex­plained that the old build­ing was built for 50 MPs; to­day, Shan State has 137 MPs. There is not enough space, he said.

The bud­get for the new Shan State par­lia­ment was ap­proved dur­ing then-pres­i­dent U Thein Sein’s term.

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