Shan caves awarded as smoke-free heritage site

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Buddha statues inside the Shwe Umin Pagoda Paya, Myanmar. Source Nick Fox / Shutterstock

via Myanmar Times, 26 November 2018: The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance recognizes the Pindaya Buddhist Caves complex for its efforts in making it a smoke-free site.

Buddha statues inside the Shwe Umin Pagoda Paya, Myanmar. Source Nick Fox / Shutterstock

Buddha statues inside the Shwe Umin Pagoda Paya, Myanmar. Source Nick Fox / Shutterstock

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance has honoured Pindaya Caves in Shan State with an award for promoting a healthy environment and preserving the uniqueness of its culture by being a smoke-free heritage site.

The Southeast Asian anti-tobacco advocacy group gave the award to Pindaya Caves at the 6th Regional Meeting of Smoke-Free Cities in the Asia-Pacific Region and the Summit of Smoke-Free Leaders in Hoi An, Vietnam, last week.

Source: Shan caves awarded as smoke-free heritage site | The Myanmar Times

Burmese days: Yangon monuments to the rare Chinese who made their fortunes in colonial era

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Chin Tsong Palace in Yangon. Source: South China Morning Post 20181102

via South China Morning Post, 02 November 2018: Interesting story about heritage houses in Yangon built by Chinese tycoons in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Chin Tsong Palace in Yangon. Source: South China Morning Post 20181102

Chin Tsong Palace in Yangon. Source: South China Morning Post 20181102

Ethnic Chinese accounted for less than 3 per cent of the population of Burma in 1881, a figure that had increased to 8.9 per cent by 1911, at which time Indians made up 56 per cent of the population, according to figures cited in Mapping Chinese Rangoon. By 1931, the Indian population of Rangoon exceeded one million, while the ethnic Chinese population was less than 200,000.

Although the races were not legally forced to live separately, downtown Rangoon was essentially divided into three quarters: the European quarter east of Sule Pagoda Road, the Indian quarter west of Sule Pagoda Road, and the Chinese quarter west of the Indian quarter (starting around Shwedagon Pagoda Road) down to 19th Street – now the culinary heart of Yangon’s Chinatown.

A westward stroll down Maha Bandoola Road takes the visitor past still visibly Indian neighbourhoods, with their mosques and Hindu temples; these slowly make way for Chinatown, with its Guan Yin and Kheng Hock Keong temples, and restaurants serving typical southern Chinese cuisine – noodles and pork, chicken and rice, and the ubiquitous fried rice and fried noodles.

Rangoon’s overseas Chinese were drawn to opportunities the city’s booming commercial port offered. While some came by land, crossing into upper Myanmar from Yunnan province, the majority were Cantonese speakers from Guangdong and Hokkien speakers from Fujian, who came by sea.

Source: Burmese days: Yangon monuments to the rare Chinese who made their fortunes in colonial era | South China Morning Post

Nearly a Dozen Buddha Images Damaged Inside Ancient Rakhine Temple

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Source: Mrauk-U Archaeological site Facebook group

via The Irrawaddy, 19 October 2018: Another tragic news of vandalism, this time from Mrauk-U. A dozen statues from Laymyethnar Pagoda were smashed by unknown vandals.

Source: Mrauk-U Archaeological site Facebook group

Source: Mrauk-U Archaeological site Facebook group

Authorities and conservationists in Rakhine State suspect local vandals for the damage of nearly a dozen Buddha images inside a 14th century temple Wednesday night in the ancient Arakanese royal capital of Mrauk-U.

Eleven of 28 Buddha images inside Sin Cha Seik Ward’s Lay Myat Hnar Temple were damaged, said Daw Khin Than, who chairs a government-supported conservation group in Mrauk-U.

From the 15th to 19th centuries Mrauk-U was the seat of a succession of Arakanese kings who at their height controlled much of modern-day western Myanmar, including Rakhine State, and eastern Bangladesh. Much of the ancient city remains well preserved and some 380 historic temples are scattered among the lush hills of northern Rakhine.

Source: Nearly a Dozen Buddha Images Damaged Inside Ancient Rakhine Temple

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Archaeologists to sue Bagan management committee

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Lawyer U Phoe Phyu discusses the lawsuit at a press confreence in Yangon on Tuesday. Source: Myanmar Times, 05 Sep 2018

via Myanmar Times, 05 September 2018: The Myanmar Archaeology Association files a lawsuit against the Mandalay government over what it describes as mismanagement of the Bagan heritage area.

Lawyer U Phoe Phyu discusses the lawsuit at a press confreence in Yangon on Tuesday. Source: Myanmar Times, 05 Sep 2018

Lawyer U Phoe Phyu discusses the lawsuit at a press confreence in Yangon on Tuesday. Source: Myanmar Times, 05 Sep 2018

The Myanmar Archaeology Association will sue the Bagan Management Committee for mismanagement of the Bagan heritage site in Mandalay Region, the association’s secretary has said.

The association will send a letter through a law firm to Nyaung U district court this week. The court will look into the accusations, and hearings on the matter are expected to take about two months, said U Thu Ra Aung, the association’s secretary.

Source: Archaeologists to sue Bagan management committee | The Myanmar Times

Bagan and the World Heritage list countdown

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via Frontier Myanmar, 30 August 2018

Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe | Frontier

Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe | Frontier

After years of challenges and controversy, a UNESCO committee will decide next year whether to grant World Heritage listing to Bagan – but hotel development in the archaeological zone remains a thorny and unresolved issue.

Source: Bagan and the World Heritage list countdown | Frontier Myanmar

Where China Meets Pyu: The “Tharaba Gate” Bilingual Inscriptions at Pagan

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Tharabha Gate, Bagan

via the Tea Circle, 30 July 2018: An article by independent scholar Liu Yun on an Chinese-Pyu inscription found at the Tharaba Gate.

Tharabha Gate, Bagan

Tharabha Gate, Bagan

Currently held in Pagan Archaeological Museum, the illegible Pyu inscription of an “unknown date” was found near the Tharaba gate which, located to the east of Pagan, is the only surviving gate of the old city. Sino-Burmese historians Taw Sein Ko (1916) and Chen Yi-sein (1960) argued, based on their pioneer studies of the much defaced Chinese epigraphy on the reverse side of the Pyu scripts, that the bilingual stone dates back to the late 13th century when the Mongol campaigns of the Pagan Kingdom were launched by ambitious Kublai Khan (r. 1271-1294) and a subsequent fragile tributary relationship was established. Strikingly different from the traditional way of writing vertically from top to bottom, the Chinese texts at Pagan run horizontally from left to right, in a Burmanized way.

Source: Where China Meets Pyu: The “Tharaba Gate” Bilingual Inscriptions at Pagan – Tea Circle

Gardens might affect Bagan UNESCO bid

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via Myanmar Times, 15 August 2018: Garden construction in Bagan temples may potentially affect the bid to nominate them into the World Heritage register. This adds to the number of issues previously highlighted in the nomination of Bagan with modern constructions (such as here and here).

Bagan authorities are planning to build 17 gardens inside the compounds of well-known pagodas, but a local UNESCO official expressed concern the move could affect Bagan’s bid to be declared a world heritage site.

Source: Gardens might affect Bagan UNESCO bid

Myanmar Archaeology Association

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Directing your attention to the Myanmar Archaeology Association website (which will be also linked in the Resources page).

Myanmar Archaeology Association was founded on December 11.2013 by the alumni group of Archaeology. Myanmar Archaeology Association become certified official association at 2017. It was oriented to proceed the archaeological research works, protection and preservation of cultural heritage, educational purpose of cultural heritage knowledge and to make chance for the public to be able to participate in cultural heritage issues. Myanmar Archaeology Association was decided to be exist to fill the gap between NGOs, concerning cultural heritage issues and governmental sector including the academic institutions such as universities and schools. It will continue to proceed for the archaeological researches, field works and to support the public awareness to get further knowledge about cultural heritage and cultural heritage management.

Check out the Myanmar Archaeology Association website here.