The construction and expansion of private HOTELS IN Bagan in defiance of government orders is prompting a public group to come out in protest.
Min Naing Aung, chairperson of Bagan Lovers Organization, said a protest will be held at Royal Rose Hall in Yangon on November 1.
Preparations are underway to add the Bagan cultural region to Unesco’s World Heritage List, after three ancient Pyu cities became the first sites in Myanmar to join the list, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sandar Khin told the Upper House on October 30.
Once on the list, more technical and financial assistance can be received to help preserve the sites, and the listings also will help promote the sites as tourism attractions.
To ensure Bagan’s selection as a World Heritage Site, government officials and the Ministry of Culture, on September 3, had warned hotel businesses currently expanding and rebuilding their HOTELS INBagan to suspend their activities. About 20 hotels are still under construction, said Min Naing Aung.
According to Win Maung of Bagan Lovers Organization, there are flaws in the Ministry of Culture’s conservation of ancient pagodas and there have been cases like letting the cars drive till the floor of Ananda Pagoda and Shwe Si Gone Pagoda, being unable to clear the growth of trees on the floor that can destroy the pagoda, blocking the pagodas in the hotel compound as a result of which people cannot pay obeisance.
“During dinner with Unesco officials, I requested them to take out the pagodas in the hotels. Aden Hotel has been digging for 19 years to build the hotel. In their compound, there are 14 ancient pagodas. No outsiders are allowed to pay obeisance to these. Similarly, Adventure Hotel, which is currently under construction, has appropriated ancient pagodas from the 11th century in its property. Bagan, Thande, Thazin and Palm Garden hotels are constructing their hotels over the pagodas. Some hotels do not allow even the officials from the Department of Archaeology to enter their hotel compound. Even though we complain about these to the Ministry of Culture, the ministry ignores,” said Min Naing Aung, Chin Toe, Win Maung, from the Bagan Lovers Organization.
Moreover, most of the hotels enlarge their compound more than they had been allowed, and these enlarged areas also contain the ancient pagodas and buildings, said Min Naing Aung. To stop the expansion of these hotels and to prevent further construction, residents from Bagan and Bagan Lovers Organisation will join hands and demonstrate, he added. Myo Oo, deputy director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library – Sub-unit for Bagan region, said he was not aware of any action by the organisation.
Source: ELEVEN MYANMAR
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