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HomeBreakingSitagu Sayadaw visits Pyay to remove ancient statues, states local administrators

Sitagu Sayadaw visits Pyay to remove ancient statues, states local administrators

Prominent Buddhist monk Sitagu Sayadaw and his 12-vehicle entourage visited Pyay, Bago Region to remove a display of ancient statues on Jan. 11, according to the local administration of Pyay. “[Sitagu Sayadaw] arrived with a full convoy of military and police vehicles. The monks are staying at [a] hotel instead of a monastery,” an administration officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told DVB. Traditionally, Burmese Buddhist monks stay at local monasteries or the homes of friends while they travel. But Sitagu Sayadaw and his entourage were reported to be staying at Alinkar Hotel in Pyay, according to hotel staff.  Sitagu Sayadaw is to replace statues from the Pyu Ancient Cities UNESCO World Heritage site with a statue of King Duttabaung. According to locals, the statues are “invaluable heritage and historically important” objects which were excavated from the Pyu ancient city of Sri Ksetra.

“At that location, there are excavated statues of Sri Ksetra-era Pyu dancers. They will be removed and a statue of King Duttabaung will be built to replace it,” the administration officer added. Locals suggest the reason for replacing the Sri Ksetra-era dancing statues is due to “Yadayar,” a ritual practiced in Burma to achieve a goal or  prevent misfortune. Min Aung Hlaing visited Sri Ksetra in October 2022 to perform a Yadayar. “Since the National League for Democracy (NLD) administration, Sitagu Sayadaw has tried to build the statue of the king by relying on the military but failed. We cannot accept it at all. Those statues of Pyu dancers have been excavated from a historical site. It is the history of Pyay city,” said an archaeologist on the condition of anonymity. Following the 2021 coup, Sitagu Sayadaw praised Min Aung Hlaing as “a king full of knowledge.”

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