The groundbreaking and cash donation ceremony to reconstruct the grand Haw Palace Kunshanwi Haw of Hsenwi Saopha Hkun Sang Ton Hong in Hsenwi in Shan State (North) was held at the former site of the Haw this afternoon.
The ceremony was presided by members of the Sangha led by Myo-lekyaung Sayadaw Suddhamma Jotikadhaja Bhaddanta Vijeya and attended by Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Union ministers Lt-Gen Soe Htut and Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), Commander of North-East Command Maj-Gen Aung Zaw Aye and town elders and departmental officials from Hsenwi.
First, the Senior General and party arrived at the ceremony, where they were welcomed by Township Administrator U Myint Oo and departmental officials, town elders and local residents with the traditional Shan drum dances, and viewed the scale model of the new Haw Palace to be constructed.
Then, the ceremony began with the three-time recitation of Namo Tassa and the congregation received the Five Precepts from the Sayadaw. Afterwards, the Senior General offered Paritta flowers, water, sand, threads, stakes decorated with jewels, golden hammers and golden spades and donations to the Sayadaw, who returned gifts to the Senior General. Then, the Union ministers and senior military officers offered donations to members of the Sangha before listening to the Paritta sermons. Afterwards, the congregation listened to the Anumodana merit-sharing sermons from the Sayadaw and shared the merits gained.
Afterwards, the Senior General and party took respective places where stakes were to be driven and drove each stakes with nine strikes at five places including the centre, east, west, south and north before sprinkling Paritta scented water on them. Then, the master of ceremonies concluded the ceremony with three-time recitation of Buddha Sasanam Ciram Titthatu after requesting celestial beings to return to their abode.
Afterwards, a ceremony to donate cash for reconstruction of the Haw Palace was held and the Senior General explained the purpose of the donation for reconstruction of Hsenwi Haw Palace, saying, that he didn’t know the complete history of the Haw Palace but he had learnt about it to some extent. As history is indelible, it is necessary to recognize it. Myanmar was ruled by monarchy but the dynasty was disrupted after King Thibaw was detained. It can be seen that Shan State was ruled by Shan Saophas. When he arrived in Lashio this year, he met with members of Shan Literature and Cultural Association from Hsenwi and discussed the reconstruction of Hsenwi Haw Palace.
It was learnt from historical records that Saophas were in place in 1542 AD during the reign of the first Inwa era and Hsenwi Haw Palace was built by Hsenwi Saopha Hkun Sang Ton Hong in 1910 AD or 1272 ME as a new grand Haw Palace of 195 feet x 134 feet complete with the landed throne gilded with gold and by using 250 teak posts. Therefore, the design for the new Haw Palace to be constructed was made to be as similar as possible to the original design by adjusting with many photographs and other re-cords. Although it was first intended that the new Haw Palace would be built at its original place, it will be constructed beside its original place in accord with the wishes of the local residents, who want to preserve its original place. The new Haw Palace will be designated as the Haw Palace Museum of Hsenwi and will also be available for other purposes in accordance with the wishes of the local residents.
The Senior General said that it is necessary for all to learn lessons from the past to make future better. Being the national races who reside in the same land, drink from the same water sources, breathe the same air and feel the same atmosphere, it is important to maintain warm relations among the national races. In conclusion, the Senior General expressed his belief that friendly relations, trust, tranquility and socioeconomic development resulting
from reconstruction of the Haw Palace are invaluable and incomparably higher than the reconstruction costs.
The Senior General presented cash for reconstruction of Hsenwi Haw Palace. Chairman of the collaboration committee for reconstruction of Hsenwi Haw Palace U Sai Myo Nyunt accepted the cash donation and returned a Shan traditional knife and a bag as commemorative gifts. Leading Chairmen of Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Co Ltd presented cash donations to U Sai Myo Nyunt who returned commemorative gifts.
On behalf of town elders, Chair-man of Hsenwi Township Shan Literature and Culture Association U Sai Myint Tun spoke words of thanks for contributions of families of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) to rebuild historical Hsenwi Haw Palace. He said local people of Hsenwi area started making efforts for reconstruction of the Haw Palace in 2014 but mission could not be accomplished due to various reasons. Now, he expressed his thanks to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and the Tatmadaw for construction of the Haw Palace. As various areas of the Union are plentiful of cultural heritages, buildings and natural beauties, it can be said that assistance of the Tatmadaw to build Hsenwi Haw Palace means fulfilling more beauties to the Union. It is making efforts to ensure progress and prosperity of future Hsenwi. Hence, on behalf of the local ethnic people residing in Hsenwi Township, he specially thanked the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and all families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) for their contributions.
The Senior General and party viewed the scale model of Hsenwi Haw Palace, discussed necessary measures and cordially greeted town elders.
Hsenwi Saopha Hkun Sang Ton Hong with title of Dathadhammaraza Nigyawda Maha Minkhaung started construction of a new grand Hsenwi Haw Palace in 1910 AD, 1272 ME. The Haw Palace in design of Mandalay Royal Palace was built of teak timber. The main structure comprised many buildings connected with each other. The conference hall was located in the centre of Haw Palace. A throne was laid on the ground fenced with iron lattice fence in about 10 feet distance. Four military marching gongs were hung at the lattice fence. The throne was flanked by four golden umbrellas, four white umbrellas and royal regalia. Saopha Hkun Sang Ton Hong passed away in heart attack disease at 33rd year of ruling period in 1916 AD, at 1 am on 2nd waxing of Tagu, 1277 ME, Tuesday. The Japanese air force operated bomb-ing attacks on northern Shan State in 1937 AD, 1299 ME. Japanese troops totally occupied Hsenwi in 1940 AD. Military aircraft of the United States of America destroyed Hsenwi-Namtu creek bridge with bombing attacks in 1944 AD and also bombed Hsenwi. As such, innocent people of Hsenwi were dead and injured in the incidents and some people fled from the town. It was learnt that impacts of bombing, artillery shells and wars caused damage to grand, splendour and eminent Hsenwi Haw Palace of Dathadhammaraza Nigyawda Maha Minkhaung Hsenwi Saopha Hkun Sang Ton Hong. At present, new Hsenwi Haw Palace will be built, 63 feet left side of the site of ancient Haw Palace in accord with the guidance of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and the building will be designated as Haw Palace Museum.