FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Residents of Thae Phyu village in the capital Naypyidaw – located near the new marble Maravijaya Buddha statue – were forcefully evicted from their homes in May and 89 out of the estimated 300 families from the village have still not been provided new housing in a new location, as promised by the regime.
“Now we are left homeless and have essentially become squatters,” a former Thae Phyu resident evicted from her home told DVB. A school and two religious buildings in the village were also demolished to make way for the marble Buddha statue unveiled on Aug. 1. Now children must travel further to attend a school in another village nearby Thae Phyu.
The 89 families evicted from their homes and land in Thae Phyu village are now living in a makeshift settlement near their former homes in Thae Phyu village. The Naypyidaw Forest Department claimed the land did not belong to the community. Local authorities did not respond to requests for an interview. The Maravijaya Buddha statue cost at least $41 million USD to build. It includes pagodas, ordination halls, rest houses, water fountains, lakes, and a park. It is the largest marble Buddha statue in the world, according to the regime.