via The Irrawaddy, 31 July 2019: An influential abbot in Myanmar has criticized the listing of Bagan as a World Heritage Site and characterised Unesco as under the influence of Islamic countries. His statements are factually inaccurate and troubling due to his position.
Myanmar’s most influential abbot, Sitagu Sayadaw, has come in for widespread criticism over his comments about the inscription of the Bagan archaeological zone on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
At a religious ceremony in Pyin Oo Lwin on Saturday, Sitagu Sayadaw said during a sermon that the Myanmar authorities had handed over the country’s heritage to an organization backed by Islamic countries.
The comment provoked an immediate backlash on social media.
In a six-minute segment from the sermon widely circulated online, Sitagu Sayadaw, also known as Ashin Nyanissara, says Bagan is a part of the Buddhist cultural heritage and had become part of Myanmar’s national cultural heritage.