Nay Pyi Taw, 19 August

Entrance fee for Marawijaya marble statue in Nay Pyi Taw, which was constructed by coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has drawn criticism for being an alleged attempt to make money by showing off the Buddha Image.

The military council announced that it would collect entry fees from pilgrims after 20 August, in order to contribute to the maintenance work necessary for the long-term sustainability of the statue and the garden.

The entrance fee is 1,000 kyats per adult and child, ten US dollars per foreigner, 5,000 kyats for an amateur photographer, 50,000 kyats for photo and video shooting, 20,000 kyats for car parking, and 10,000 kyats per hour for a buggy.

A resident told Than Lwin Times that the military regime is making money by showing off Buddha’s image, and if they go to the pagoda, it will cost them money.

Myanmar has been ruled by military generals for decades, and the coup brought the democratic system, which had been the pillar for lifting the country out of poverty, to a halt.

On the other hand, the dwindling socio-economic situation has not recovered since the coup, and foreign exchange, gold, and commodity prices continue to rise, so the grass-roots people have to hold their breath.

A source said that when the people are in trouble, the military leader’s use of the Buddha image to seek profit will tarnish the image of the religion, which is unacceptable as a citizen. It should not be necessary to pay a fee for the pilgrimage, and there is only one country like this in the world.

On 1 August, the military council held the consecration ceremony of Marawijaya Pagoda and the hoisting of golden umbrellas of pagodas on top of the 1,440 stone plaques curved in Pali-Myanmar-Roman in the precinct, and invited 900 local and foreign monks.

Following that, the military council extended the day to allow people from near and far to visit the pagoda for free, and junta-controlled state-owned newspapers reported that the pagoda was especially crowded with pilgrims.

News-Than Lwin Times


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *