How ethnonationalists use the UNESCO World Heritage label

No Comments
Cyclist taking selfie in Bagan. Source: Al Jazeera, 20190804

via Al Jazeera, 04 August 2019: The article mentions Myanmar, China and India but archaeology and ethnonationalism can be quite prevalent throughout the region.

Myanmar is now preparing to pursue World Heritage status for Mrauk U, the historical capital of the kingdom of Rakhine, which existed between the 15th and 18th century. In the present, Rakhine state has been ground zero of the regime’s genocidal operation against the Rohingya, as well as atrocities against the ethnic Rakhine Buddhists – who have collaborated with the Tatmadaw military in brutalising the Rohingya even while being brutalised themselves.

In preparation for the Mrauk U bid, local archaeologists are busy assessing how to repair the damage wrought by the military’s war crimes, and protect the ruins from future harm – while for almost a million Rohingya left to rot in refugee camps in Bangladesh, there are no reparations or protection in sight. The government is building a new airport at Mrauk U to facilitate the anticipated influx of tourists – while the humanitarian aid workers and UN investigators attempting to gain access to the state’s persecuted communities have routinely been barred.

Source: How ethnonationalists use the UNESCO World Heritage label | Rohingya | Al Jazeera