House vote to name Mon state bridge Gen Aung San despite protest

Lower House lawmakers have voted to name a new bridge across the Salween river in Mon state after Burma’s independence hero General Aung San on Tuesday despite protest from locals.

After a heated debate, 217 lawmakers voted in favour of naming the bridge after Gen Aung San against 43 who objected with 116 abstaining, the Irrawaddy Online reported.

Protesting locals favour naming the bridge linking Moulmein and Chaungzon township Yamanya, meaning Mon state in Mon language or Salween bridge.

The bridge’s proposed name became known when the Ministry of Construction sent a letter to deputy speaker of the Mon state parliament announcing the opening ceremony for the bridge on Feb 13 which coincides with the birthday of Gen Aung San.

Locals were outraged by the decision and the opening ceremony was cancelled.

Chief minister of Mon state U Min Min said he would reconsider naming the bridge, but the Lower House went ahead with debating the name on Feb 28 despite protest by about 3,000 Mons near the bridge site.

Fifteen lawmakers jointed the debate with the National League for Democracy members campaignfor the proposed name of Gen Aung San and Union Solidarity and Development Party members and the military representatives objecting the proposal.