The govt granted a 5 million kyat budget toward maintaining the ancient Mwetaw pagoda, following a request in parliament.
Archaeologists, members of Parliament, technical experts and locals are collaborating to repair a pagoda in southern Shan State’s Mongnai Township.
The government has granted a 5 million kyat (US$3,245) budget toward maintaining the ancient Mwetaw pagoda in Mongnai town, following a request in parliament for technical expertise to be allocated to the project, Mongnai MP Sai Moon Lein told SHAN.
“Archaeologists and engineers who have worked on ancient pagoda maintenance in Bagan came to help us. Local people in Mongnai also will help in repairing the ancient pagodas in Mongnai town,” he said.
The Mwetaw pagoda is located within the compound of the Wizaral monastery in Kong Kyaung village in Mongnai’s Kon Ner village tract. The process of repairing the structure began on January 15.
“We found archaeological remains when we dug the earth in the compound of the monastery. We transferred those remains to the township Sangha association [monks’ association],” Sai Moon Lein said.
The MP explained that a budget has already been proposed to repair other ancient Mongnai pagodas, but that they are awaiting a government decision.
“Some pagodas have holes in them. We see crack lines on some pagodas. We will fix those pagodas without damaging the ancient style. I want to urge all Mongnai locals to maintain all pagodas in Mongnai Township,” MP Sai Moon Lein said to SHAN.
Former Mongnai MP Sai Maung Gyi told SHAN that local environmentalists and members of the Shan literature and culture committee assisted in the cleaning of a 200-year-old pagoda, the 100-year-old Sangha hall, and a 300-year-old statue in early January.
Elders in Mongnai say that the town is home to many archaeological treasures, including ancient pagodas, a palace, moats, and pools.
MP Sai Moon Lein said that he proposed that the Union government recognize Mongnai town as an important archaeological and cultural heritage site when President U Win Myint visited the Shan State capital of Taunggyi last June. He also sent a letter to Shan State’s chief minister calling for such recognition.