Name of Mon Cultural Museum forcibly changed by SPDC
December 21, 2007
The Mon Cultural Museum, which has been open to the public in Moulmein for decades, has been renamed by the SPDC regime, a source from the capital city of Mon State reported.
The name was changed from the ‘Mon Cultural Museum’ to the ‘Literature and Cultural Museum,’ obscuring the museum’s Mon focus. The decision was made by the SPDC Cultural Ministry, and the museum is under the control of the cultural minister within the Archaeology National Museum and Literature Directorate.
The Mon Museum, located at number 50 Htawai Bridge Road and Baho Road in Moulmein, was established over thirty years ago. Its aim was to encourage the Mon people to research the past and discover more about a history that is one of the oldest in South-east Asia, dating back centuries.
According to a Buddhist monk from Moulmein, “The SPDC first consulted Mon historians and Mon monks but went on ahead and changed the museum’s name. Because of the complete disregard shown to the Mon people, knowledgeable monks now disagree with the government ideas in many ways; the government has consistently shown us they don’t care about our rights and participation in Burmese society.”
According to a prominent Mon historian, the museum is a Mon museum and should contain the word ‘Mon’ in the title so its focus is clear to the public. He went to say that, “Although this Museum was not named in the Mon Language, we could understand what it was, but others won’t. Now the government has removed the word ‘Mon’. This is very confusing and shows how deceitful they can be, but it also proves how untrustworthy they are in handling our affairs.”
A university student in the area said, “Mon university students are unhappy and dissatisfied with the government’s attempt to destroy and dissolve the Mon culture.
Moreover, the symbol of Mon nationality in Moulmein is being eroded away. At major points in the capital city of Mon State the highly symbolic Mon Brahminy Ducks (Golden Sheldrake) have been substituted with lacquer. Sadly our monks, Mon Historians and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) couldn’t prevent our culture from being repressed by the Burmese government; the only Mon symbol left is a big shop near the Than Lwin River (Salween).”