(By Maung Aye, Nariajara, August 19, 2014)
The statue of Ven-Oattama, the great revolutionary social scientist of Burma, is ready for installation in the public place. The over 400 kg bronze statue, which was cast successfully in Mrouk Oo recently, will be placed in Anawmar park near Shittaung pagoda of western Burma.
Well known bronze casting master U Kyaw Tha Nyunt has prepared the statue within six months for installation on September 9 after rallying around Mrouk Oo city. The local citizens have donated generously for the art-work.
“Everyone in Burma knows about the contribution made by Ven-Oattama for political reforms not only Burma, but also in many parts of Asia. He was the pioneer thinker to raise voices against the British colonial forces,” said U Maung Kyaw Zan, a conscious resident of Mrouk Oo.
He also added that Ven-Oattama’s contribution was sabotaged to some extend by a section of historians and also the governments and hence the people decided to erect the statue to pay tribute to the great soul. More today’s generation will come to know about Ven-Oattama with this initiative, he added.
Ven-Oattama was born in 1879 in Sittwe, the present capital of Arakan and emerged as a scholar in Pali and Sanskrit languages. He could communicate with altogether nine 9 languages and Ven-Oattama was respected as a teacher in India and Japan also.
He was involved with the Congress party of undivided India and once was elected as the president of Hindu Sobha. He had cordial relationship with legendary leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Sunyet Sin, which helped him to emerge as an influential revolutionary leader. The British authority arrested and jailed Ven-Oattama many times. He passed away on September 9, 1939 and since then the day is observed as a Ven-Oattama memorial day.
U Maung Kyaw Zan also informed that the statue will be installed on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Ven-Oattama day and the opening ceremony will be held at Anawmar park. Local politicians, monks and the general public are expected to attend the function.
Essay and fine-art competitions among the children and youths on the life of Ven-Oattama are also on the card. Mentionable is that the Anawmar park will be renamed as Ven-Oattama park after the installation.