Hotels in Bagan’s protected zone in limbo

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The Myanmar government is deciding between granting special exemptions or demolishing some 25 hotels that have been illegally built in the protected area of Bagan.

Hoteliers Left in Limbo in Bagan
The Irrawady, 22 August 2016

The government remains undecided on whether to grant official approval to unsanctioned hotels that were built in Bagan’s famed archaeological zone without the permission of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture.

Existing laws prohibit commercial buildings in Bagan’s archaeological zone but for 25 hotels that have already been built, the ministry is debating whether to allow or demolish them, said Aye Ko Ko, director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, at a press conference on the ministry’s 100-day plan in Naypyidaw on Friday.

“According to the law, hotels, motels and guesthouses can’t be built in archaeological zones unless the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture approves. This approval cannot be authorized by local authorities or our department,” said Aye Ko Ko.

Full story here.

Myanmar selectively acts against properties encroaching into Bagan sites

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View from the Aureum Palace Hotel. Source: Myanmar Times 20150825

Myanmar has begun to pursue legal action against properties that have encroached onto the Bagan heritage areas, but have notably left out a number of prominent hotels. The action is ostensibly so that the complex can be listed for Unesco World Heritage status, but the question to whether this measure is effective remains to be seen.

View from the Aureum Palace Hotel. Source: Myanmar Times 20150825

View from the Aureum Palace Hotel. Source: Myanmar Times 20150825

Many big-name Bagan hotels left off encroachment list
Myanmar Times, 25 August 2015

The government has named 11 buildings in Bagan that are facing charges for flouting cultural laws but the list contains none of the well-known luxury hotels whose construction has violated the same regulations.

The action is being taken as Myanmar wages a campaign for the ancient city to be included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, which officials said they hoped to achieve by 2017.

U Nyein Lwin said some hotels are also escaping scrutiny despite ignoring a Ministry of Culture directive in May 2013 to limit construction to three storeys, which was revised in August 2014 to a two-storey limit.

“After these changes were made, there were people who continued building in violation of the new regulations,” U Nyein Lwin said. “Some of those who stopped are still facing prosecution, but some bigger hotels that kept building despite the laws have now opened. Our department must follow through on prosecutions according to the orders of our superiors.”

Full story here.