Statue of Gen Aung San Defaced, Damaged in Myitkyina

By Lawi Weng 23 July 2018

MON STATE — Police in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, are looking for those responsible for defacing a statue of General Aung San in the town on Sunday night.

Police officer U Myat Moe told The Irrawaddy on Monday, “We are investigating it. The statue of the General belongs to everyone. We will charge [those responsible with] destruction of public property.” Those who destroy public property can be charged under Article 6 (1) of the Public Property Protection Act 6, U Myat Moe said.

An as yet unidentified person or people splashed green paint over the face of the statue of Myanmar’s national independence hero and also damaged the left and right sides of the pedestal.

The statue is located in a public area, but the perpetrator was able to get beyond its enclosing wall and locked gate under cover of darkness.

The statue was erected in February 2017 by the National League for Democracy-led state government despite opposition from some members of the local ethnic Kachin population.

U Kyaw Oo, an NLD member in Myitkyina who led the campaign to build the statue, told The Irrawaddy that, “The area in which the statue stands is poorly lit. The perpetrator destroyed [part of] the pedestal with a hammer and splashed green paint on the face of Gen Aung San.”

He added, “We will open a case. If we don’t, others will.”

The attacker left some evidence at the scene, including the lid of a can of paint.

“We found the lid of the paint can as evidence. We need to find out which shops sell this type of paint so we can track down a suspect. [The paint vendor] may have CCTV,” said the police officer, U Myat Moe.