Four ethnic Kachin political parties have objected to a plan to erect a statue of General Aung San in the regional capital Myitkyina.
In an open letter to the chief minister of Kachin State on 6 February, the Kachin Political Cooperation Committee (KPCC) said that the construction of a statue had begun on a vacant plot of land close to the landmark clock tower in the city centre.
Father of current Burmese leader Suu Kyi, Gen. Aung San is considered Burma’s independence hero and was the founder of the nation’s armed forces.
The KPCC noted in its statement that commemorating him at this time was inopportune as the region is still racked by armed conflict, and the federal union promised by Aung San to Kachin and other ethnic groups in Panglong in 1947 was yet to be implemented.
“We are conveying the voice of the local people,” said Jaw Seng Naw, the secretary of the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP), one of the four political members of the KPCC.
“What the public needs at this time is peace and the implementation of a promise made to us by General Aung San – a federal union where we would have autonomy and equality.”
He added: “We think it is rather inopportune timing to put up a statue of General Aung San when people are suffering. The political climate is not right for it.”
The KPCC comprises: KSDP; Kachin Democratic Party; Kachin National Congress Party; and Lhaovo National Unity and Development Party.