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Deputy transport minister dismissed

  BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
August 18, 2000

Deputy transport minister dismissed over late arrival of Buddha image

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1245 gmt 15 Aug 00

Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 15th August

DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that the deputy minister and 
some engineers from the
Ministry of Transport have been dismissed for failure to convey on time an 
alabaster Buddha image from
Sakyin Hill in Madaya, Mandalay Division, to Insein in Rangoon Division by 
0816 [local time] on 24th
July. SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Khin 
Nyunt attended the
ceremony to convey the image and the event was broadcast live on the 
television. However, the
alabaster image was not conveyed on time and the ceremony was held for the 
second time. When the
image was still not conveyed, the live broadcast was called off.

The alabaster buddha image was conveyed to its site only at 1430. The DVB 
has learned that Deputy
Minister U Pe Than and some engineers have been dismissed in connection 
with this matter. A
ceremony to install the image, Lawkachantha Abaya Labhamuni Buddha, was 
held on 6th August in
Gyogon, Insein. The Buddha image weighs 500 tons and is 37 feet high. 
Arrangements were made to
carve the Buddha image out of this alabaster, which is the biggest rock in 
the world.

DVB has learned that another rock, which is even bigger, has been 
discovered at Sakyin Hill. However,
Transport Ministry personnel are concerned that if the rock is transported 
they have to neglect their
office work and one mistake would bring about their dismissal.