The roundabout near the Thanlwin Bridge in Mawlamyine [Moulmein], the capital of Mon State, is set to receive from the state government a replacement statue of a Bop Htaw,the golden bird that serves as a national symbol for millions of ethnic Mon people, particularly those living in southern Burma.
An earlier Bop Htaw statue was erected in 2005 to coincide with the opening of the Thanlwin Bridge (Mawlamyine), that connects Mottama [Martaban] to the city’s entrance, but was replaced with a large alms bowl in 2007 under orders from the State Peace and Development Council run by Snr. Gen. Than Shwe.
In May, the Mon State Chief Minister met with the New Mon State Party’s vice-chairman, Nai Hongsar, to discuss replacing the Bop Htaw. The government later agreed and recently announced that a new cement Bop Htaw statue has been commissioned.
Before the alms bowl is removed, the Mon News Agency team went to the roundabout site and photographed the statue on its foundation.
In English, the Mon language term ‘Bop Htaw,’ or “Hinthar” in Burmese, translates to golden Brahminy Duck or Sheldrake.