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2021 WHC

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Author winterkjm
#76 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 03:32 | Edited by: winterkjm 

Author Solivagant
#77 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 07:21 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Myauk-U Archaeological Area and Monuments (Myanmar)

It will be interesting to see what UNESCO/ICOMOS make of this nomination if it is put forward for 2021.
We were due to visit it during our last visit to Myanmar in 2012 but were prevented from doing so when the Rohingya issue blew up and the Myanmar government stopped tourists going there for a while.

The current stance of the Myanmar government is that everything is "peaceful" and "normal" with tourism encouraged but the reality seems to be that the temples are located in an area of 3-way instability between the Myanmar government and -
a. The Muslim Rohingya people - there is still the "unsolved" problem of the Rohingya expulsions/emigrations/"genocide" which has happened since 2012 (mainly 2016) leaving some 600k Rohingya muslims in camps within Bangladesh. Myanmar "may" have committed to facilitating the return of some of these but this isn't happening for various reasons. Some Rohingya have stayed within the borders of Myanmar and are fighting as the "Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army" (ARSA)
b. The insurgency of the Buddhist "Arakan Army" (AA) pushing for greater autonomy (or more) within Myanmar.

This seems to present 2 issues to UNESCO/ICOMOS
a. Is the area safe enough for an assessment mission to take place? And even if it is could such a mission conclude that the heritage itself is "safe"?
b. Can a nomination be accepted when many of the local people claim to have had their rights removed or threatened - Thailand recently failed to demonstrate the support of Karens when proposing KKFC.

Here are few recent links
a. March 2019 - "Armed conflict at Mrauk-U damages temples and displaces villagers"
b. March 2019 - "Eight injured in Mrauk U violence"
c. April 2019 "Myanmar rebels storm police base in Rakhine state amid fresh clashes in temple town"

Author elsslots
#78 | Posted: 5 Sep 2019 00:31 

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