Trustee board refutes Shwedagon Pagoda gold plate rumors

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Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees at the press conference on the pagoda’s gold plate renovation in Yangon. Photo: ye htut

Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees member U Thaung Htike said 99.9 (purity) gold for Shwedagon Pagoda was bought, after submitting the matter to the Government, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Conservation, and stored in a secure gold storage room in Shwedagon Pagoda. When it is issued (for work), officials in a group take it out after inspection. The storage room is kept under CCTV surveillance, while Pagoda Board of Trustees security also kept it under its watch. The process of making gold plates for the pagoda was also overseen by the Pagoda Board of Trustees and all gold plates are 99.9 per cent pure, without any impurities, and were being installed onto the pagoda, said U Thaung Htike.
He said this during a press conference held on Shwedagon Pagoda yesterday afternoon regarding the 2018-2019 Shwedagon Pagoda gold plate renovation work.
U Thaung Htike said the press conference was held because false news was circulating in some newspapers, journals, and social media that could cause disrespect toward the religion.
He continued to say that one tical and six tical gold plates were produced by Ministry of Education research and innovation department, material science research department and metallurgy research department, and all were scientifically inspected. Gold contents were described and all gold plates are above 95 per cent purity. The authenticity is guaranteed and is ready for inspection anytime. Department of Mines will also inspect the gold content with special machines. As for the gold flakes (shavings), traditional method of producing them has been used and the gold flakes submitted through tender system are inspected by metallurgy research department, and only gold flakes with 97.5 per cent gold content is accepted, said U Thaung Htike.
Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees member U Nyo Win said “12 board of trustee members attended this press conference. Of the 12, nine are responsible for nine departments of Shwedagon Pagoda, and the remaining three are holding responsible positions regarding religion and international matters. For 2018-2019 Shwedagon Pagoda gold plate renovation works, a central committee, work committee and ten sub-committees were formed and assigned different duties and responsibilities. As they are responsible for the gold plates and flakes to be adorned onto the pagoda, they are participating in the press conference.”
Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees member U Tin Oo then encouraged the media to raise any question on Shwedagon Pagoda gold plate renovation work. As a fourth pillar (of the country), reports on Shwedagon Pagoda are urged to be written with a view of protecting and caring for the religion, said U Tin Oo. News media personnel in attendance then raised questions that were answered by the pagoda board of trustee members. The press conference was attended by Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees, officials from Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture and Ministry of Industry and news media personnel.


Yi Yi Myint, Ohnmar thant

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