Article submitted by: Thunderbolts on 12-Jun-2012  

Conservation Strategy Drafted for Historic Rangoon
RANGOON— “Towards a Conservation Strategy for Yangon in the 21st Century” is the very first conference of its kind aiming at protecting Burma’s national heritage. Organized by the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) non-governmental organization on Friday, the event aims to prepare a strategy to be presented to the Naypyidaw authorities in the next few weeks.
“We need to protect what we have, urgently. If we do nothing, we will lose our heritage within a few short years and there will be no opportunity to turn back [the clock],” said Dr. Thant Myint-U,
the founder and chairman of the YHT, in his opening remarks.
Dear Myanmar Patriots, Expatriates, Compatriots and Friends,


My question is do we have to look at these old colonial buildings, to remind our children and ourselves every day that we have been British colonial slaves for over 125 years? They were the builders of Myanmar, we were nothing to compete with them. is that what it means, to remind ourselves that we are no more than slaves?

True, in a sense, we were no cheats, we were not looters, we were not rapists, no torturer, no murderers.

We Myanmar built great buildings, ourselves, with our own money and withy our own labour, long before the British came to Myanmar. Old Nay Pyi Daw, after Innwa New Nay Pyi Daw Mandalay city was built in 1859 by Mindon Min, if Dr Than Myint Oo will remember. Dr Thant Myint Oo may also remember how many historical buildings and heritages were deliberately destroyed, demolished in Myanmar by the British, if his memories serve him well Dr Thant Myint Oo will know.

What is there for Myanmars to be proud , and take pride by looking at these old colonial buildings. These building are not up to today building standard, and regulations.

Dr Thant Myint Oo must be really proud of himself, doing a great job. I don’t blame him. If it is his own private programme, his own private project. He must have his own reasons for what he is doing.

“ “We need to move forward with a conservation strategy, create jobs for people and help and not displace local communities, celebrate the city’s diversity, invite international investment, encourage tourism and test new models on private and public partnership,” said Thant Myint-U.”

Well said. I hope he knows what he is saying. I have my respect as a historian, not as one of 88 generation, or a supporter of west leaning Mrs Aris, in his own way.

A person such as Dr Thant Myint Oo, knows what Myanmar needs, for progress, developments, and to be modern industrialised. The monies not to be wasted, it has to be well spent. He might argue the renovation works will give certain people from all walks of life some jobs. So are the people who will built pagodas, roads, rails, and other infrastructures.

My heart is pounding, my blood pressure is rising. To be sure I look myself in the mirror to see my eyes ball. All I saw was my face what is called “ Ngo Ywe Yee Ywe Maya Thaw Myetnhar”. I really could not laugh, could not cry. Or to say “ Koung daw Koung De – Dar Bey Me Myatsay Sutt Te ’. It’s good , but my eyes are burning.

When I heard there was a conference on protecting the iconic colonial-era buildings that hark back to Rangoon’s illustrious past has warned that urgent action is needed to save the city’s century-old heritage.

One Dr Thant Myint Oo is the founder and the chairman of NGO called YHT.(Yangon Heritage Trust). He is not a stranger to us. As Mrs Aris was the daughter of Ko Aung San , Dr Thant Myint Oo is the grandson of U Thant, former and late UN Secretary General . He is a historian in his own right. No doubt, his qualifications and his connections placed him where he is.

Recently I have publish an article, on National Reconciliation and National Uni-ty, asking a lot of questions from a lot of angles, what to do next to achieve Peace and harmony, prosperity, progress, and developments in Myanmar to be modern developed industrialised nation.

You may be one of those who said let by gone be by gone, forgive and forget.

I am ignorant about this particular NGO, Dr Thant Myint Oo used to work for the world organization such as United Nations. To my poor knowledge UNations itself is taken responsibilities, to safe these heritages, historical buildings etc.

If Dr Thant Myint Oo is the founder of this org., with his own expense, or with the expense of others, and willing partners, and donors, ‘good luck’ to him.

But what really annoyed me is , there are many historical buildings and sites in our land of Myanmar. Because we Myanmars have our history, we are the makers of history. Dr Than Myint Oo should know that, because he happened to be a historian. From Dagoung, Thayey Khittayar Pagan , Yakine, Mon , Toungoo, Innwa, Pinnya, Shwebo Mandalay, to Yangon historical places and sites.

Tourists, come to see Myanmar, traditions, culture customs of Myanmars their way of life. I am n ot sorry to say they don’t come to Myanmar to see colonial buildings. BTW most of these building are the British built. It’s been 63 years now Myanmar is independent. How many years contact was it, not to touch their building not to demolish but to renovate only?

If I understand that in my own way, that is the insurance for Myanmar to be slaves, in reality or in name as long as they exit.

On the other hand as it is in England, all museums and historical sites, private and public, collect handsome entry fees . For instances Buckingham Palace in London collects £ 20 if I remember correctly and London eye collects £ 30.

My point is we cannot allow all people women, men, girls and boys to become prostitutes,like in Thailand, like in most South east Asia countries, especially Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand to attract tourists, and to earn revenue. We cannot solve the problems of 55 million people in this way. When you invite the guests, you have to facilitate them you have to be able to provide them what they need.

These are what I called “ consequences”. These are not un foreseeable, they are visible, especially for educated people intellectuals most of all the “historians”.

According to the news by the ‘ Irrawaddy’, DTMO0 is putting plans to Naypyidaw, to renovate, to safe .The news also said, Burma’s former capital retains one of the best colonial-era cityscapes in the world with 189 listed buildings and 11 ancient monuments, according to Mie Mie Tin. It mentioned some of them.

I don’t want to go on this subjectany farther. Nothing personnel, these are some of my views. What I am trying to say is ‘there are other better things to do, far better than renovation old coloniel buildinsg’. To restore, pagodas and kyaungs and other histiorical building, monuments. What about to horse drown carriages producing factory those British Queen Elizabeth II, and her ancestors rode, on occasions. What about horse farming, to supply horses to horse guards at the Buckingham Palace, in England. When Elizabeth II was young she rode a horse named “ Burmese’, which was presented to her by the Canadian Government.

At least the grave of Thibaw, Myanmar's last King in Ratanagiri in India.