Burma’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) have objected to a plan to construct a new Shan State government building.
The budget for the new regional parliament in Shan State capital Taunggyi was approved during the tenure of the previous government led by President Thein Sein.
Nang Mya Oo, the secretary of SNLD Taunggyi Township, said that the government should use the budget in ways that are useful to people who are in need rather that to design a new assembly building.
“The existing office is a historical Shan State building,” Nang Myo Oo said. “We still want it to be used as our state government office.”
But the central government wants the Shan State parliament to be expanded because it believes the current working environment is too restricted in space.
According to an August 10 statement by the NLD’s Taunggyi office, the ruling party also objects to the new construction plans.
Last week, a petition signed by numerous local people and environmental groups called on the Shan State government to reconsider, saying the new location will affect the local environment with some 80 trees slated to be cut down.
“If it is not necessary, do not use the state government budget,” she said. “These trees [in the area where the new office is scheduled to be built] portray the beauty of Taunggyi city. We do not want them to be cut down.”
Nang Noon Mo, a resident in Taunggyi and executive member for the Shan Literature and Culture Association, said that they are collecting signatures in order to launch an objection to the project. She said that they will submit a letter outlining their case to President Htin Kyaw, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, both union and state governments, and environmental groups.