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Mon State Gov’t drops “Gen. Aung San Bridge” name

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The Mon State government decided, at yesterday’s meeting, to drop the ‘General Aung San Bridge” title for the bridge that will connect Mon State’s capital Mawlamyine to Chaungzone Township, Bilu Kyun [Island].

Thursday’s meeting by the government also concluded that the name for the bridge will be decided in accordance with the people’s wishes.

“Now, the ceremony for erecting the name signboard of the bridge is put on hold. We will acknowledge the public’s voices,” said Dr. Min Kyi Win, Mon State’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Conservation.

Entrance to the Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzone) (Photo: MNA)
Entrance to the Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzone) (Photo: MNA)
On Thursday, Mon National Party (MNP) also submitted an objection letter to the Mon State Chief Minister. The letter stated that naming the bridge ‘General Aung San Bridge’ is not fitting with the wishes of the Mon State people, but rather damaging for ethnic unity and the peace process as well as not fitting in with the program towards national reconciliation.

“With the current name, the Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzone), no one will argue with it. For me, I accept that name,” said Dr. Aung Naing Oo, deputy speaker of Mon State Hluttaw [Parliament].

On Wednesday, Mon monks, members of Mon literature and culture association, the Mon Youth Group and locals prepared to submit a complaint letter to the President for trying to [re]name the bridge.

On Tuesday, Mon State Hluttaw representatives received invitation letters to participate in the ceremony that involved erecting a signboard proclaiming the bridge as ‘General Aung San Bridge’ instead of Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzone). The ceremony is planned to take place in the morning of February 13, according to the invitation letter.

However, the public and Mon State Hluttaw representatives continue to reject the renaming of the bridge.

“In our opinions, it is not suitable. There are names such as Thanlwin Bridge (Mawlamyine), and Thanlwin Bridge (Hpa An). Therefore, this new bridge should be named Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzone).

The bridge is 1759 ft long and 64 ft wide across the water, with 689 ft on-land to the Mupon Ward side of Mon State’s Capital and 2756 ft on-land to Ka-nyur Village, Chaungzone Township, Bilu Kyun [Island].

“This bridge has no connection with that name. So, for us, we won’t accept that name,” said State Hluttaw Deputy Speaker Dr. Aung Naing Oo, in an interview with MNA, after he received the invitation letter, while adding that being united, the public should object to the “Gen. Aung San Bridge” name and if necessary, letters must be submitted to the Union Government for review and the public should stage a protest.

The bridge’s construction started during the Thein Sein Government in early 2015 and is expected to be open for service by April, 2017.

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