Drones over Shwedagon Pagoda banned for fear of terrorist attacks

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon.
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon.

The drone party is officially over.

Htun Aung Ngwe, a trustee of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, says a ban on unmanned aerial vehicles above Myanmar’s holiest site is in effect.


Terrorist attacks.

“Some people think that it is more beautiful to get pictures from above by drones,” he told 7Day News Journal.

“There are some people like that, but we can’t guarantee that there would be no terrorists. That’s why, we restricted after discussion with the Yangon Regional Administration.”

Common in many parts of the world, drone usage is just catching on in Myanmar. It featured heavily in coverage of the election last month. But as in other countries, regulation of the unmanned flights has lagged behind the passion of enthusiasts.

In September, the Myanmar Times reported that registering your drone would be part of new rules, but the process was not defined clearly. Easier to just let it fly and deal with the consequences later, if there are consequences.

Meanwhile, no-drone signs have been placed around the pagoda, and a handful of people caught flying drones there have had their equipment briefly confiscated.

Naturally, hobbyists were not pleased with the news.

“I don’t want to comment on this restriction,” one of them told 7Day without providing a name.

He did, however, weigh in on the terrorism potential.

“It is difficult to attack by using such kinds of small drones.”

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