Mrauk U: The ancient city walls in Mrauk-U in western Burma’s Arakan State are reportedly being bulldozed to make way for expansion of the Sittwe-Rangoon road.
The city walls are situated in the archaeological zone that is officially recognized by the archaeological department and are being bulldozed to create land for the expanded construction of the road in southeastern Mrauk-U.
“They are earthen city walls situated at the Laethartaung and Mrataung Fortresses near Laksaykan Lake within the archaeological zone. They are now being bulldozed for the earth to be filled for widening the Sittwe-Rangoon road in the area. They will be totally destroyed if all the necessary earth is bulldozed and taken from them for the road construction,” said U Kyaw Tun Aung, a retired Arakanese archaeologist from Mrauk-U.
He added that the destroyed city walls were built during the Mrauk-U period. “The inner city walls were built of brick and rock while the outer ones were built of earth, connecting hills in some places, in the Mrauk-U period. Such earthen walls are substantially being found in Japan and India as well. They are invaluable ancient historic structures and should not be destroyed for anything,” he said.
U Kyaw Tun Aung said that he has already sent photographs of the destroyed city walls to the responsible authorities and the media in an effort to make the situation known, and for immediate action to be taken to protect the ancient heritage from being completely destroyed.
It was learnt that Thein Zaw Company has been undertaking construction to widen the Sittwe-Rangoon road in Mrauk-U Township. The company declined to give any comments regarding the construction when contacted by Narinjara.
Many ancient heritage sites, including Praysoegree Pagoda, Minhla Fortress, Minthamee Wall, Rayhla Garrisons, and the pagodas on Thazintan Hills were destroyed when a path for constructing the Sittwe-Ann Railway was bulldozed through the main archaeological zone in Mrauk-U in November 2010.
Caption: This photo was taken in 2010. The pagoda on Thazintan Hills was destroyed by bulldozer for construction of the Sittwe-Ann Railway.