Residents of Kyaukpru to stage protest if their monastery’s land is confiscated

Kyauk Pru: The residents in Kyaukpru in Arakan State say they have agreed to stage a protest in their recent meeting if a plot of land in the premises of the Nagarkyaung Monastery, the biggest and the most ancient Buddhist monastery in the town, is confiscated by the authorities.

The Ngarkyung Monastery

A local elder told Narinjara that they, the residents of the town, had held a meeting from 4 to 6 pm on 25th of April in the Nagarkyaung Monastery following the move carried out by the ministry of electrical power no. 2 to confiscate the plot of land in front of the monastery for the building of a sub power house.

“The ministry of electrical power no. 2 measured and marked with posts on the ground in front of the Nagarkyaung monastery. We have learned that a sub power house is planned to be built on that marked plot, we, the residents, held a meeting yesterday in the monastery and no one wants any structure to be built on the ground in front of the monastery and we reached a decision to stage a protest if the authorities forcibly confiscate the land and build the power house”, said the elder.

He said that over 20 elders including the abbot of the monastery attended the meeting and decided in one voice to protest against the construction of the power house on their religious land.

“That is the ground we have been using for holding religious functions in the town. As the ground is situated in the premises of the monastery and close to the residential wards, it is not suitable for a power house as well. They [authorities] can select another location for their power house outside the town away from the monastery and the residential wards. That is why we have decided in one voice to protest against them if they proceed with their plan”, he added.

It is learnt that the town people have informed the matter to U Ba Shin, the MP of the Peoples’ Parliament from the town and he is said to have supported the peoples’ decision as well.

The deputy minister of the electrical power no. 2 is said to have inspected and selected the ground in front of the monastery along with the local authorities while he was in Kyaukpru last week and announced that the power house would be build on the ground despite the dissent from the town peoples.

According to the town residents, Burmese officials are now eyeing the religious lands in Kyaukpru after they have already confiscated most of the public lands in and around the town under various titles and sold them out for their own profits.