Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Chairman of the Myanmar National Cultural Central Committee attended the third work coordination meeting held yesterday morning at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture in Nay Pyi Taw.
Tangible and intangible heritages are the pride of Myanmar
In his speech at the meeting the Vice President said several million years old primates and fossil remains were discovered in Myanmar. According to archeological evidence, Myanmar had also went through the stone-age, bronze-age and iron-ages. In the early history, there were ancient Pyu, Mon and Rakhine cities where civilization had flourished. The first kingdom of Myanmar was established in Bagan and from there on there were Inwa, Taungoo, Nyaungyan and Konbaung dynasties. Throughout those eras there were many arts and architectural creations created by the people that remained as cultural heritage. Similarly there were many religious beliefs, traditions and festivals of ethnic nationals all over Myanmar that remained as intangible cultural heritage. These tangible and intangible heritages were a matter of pride and honor for the country and the people. The country’s cultural heritages of Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Khsetra, the three ancient Pyu cities had become world heritage sites on 22 June 2014.
In the same way Maha Lawka Marazein Kuthotaw Pagoda stone inscription, Myazedi (Yazakumara) inscription, inscription on the Bayintnaung Bell in Bagan Shwezigon Pagoda had become world heritages. Ananda Sandra stone inscription in Shitthaung (Shite-thaung) pagoda, Mrauk U was also listed in the Asia-Pacific cultural heritage list in 2018 and a process was already underway to include it in the 2020 UNESCO world cultural heritage list. A Nomination Dossier (Complete) for Bagan cultural region was submitted to the world heritage committee in a timely manner on 24 January 2018.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) had read the nomination dossier and a technical expert group had conducted assessment works in the Bagan cultural region from 14 to 25 September 2018. Myanmar had also responded to the questions and matters raised by the technical expert group.
An Interim Report for “World Heritage List, 2019 Bagan (Myanmar)” and replies to Additional Information Request were sent to ICOMOS and a decision will be made at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 30 June to 10 July 2019.
To preserve cultural heritages is the responsibility of Myanmar nationals
Preparations were also being made in all relevant sectors towards submitting a Nomination Dossier for Mrauk U cultural region to the world heritage committee. These works were an attempt for Myanmar national cultural heritages to become world heritage sites. There are many Myanmar national cultural heritages all over Myanmar and lost cultural heritages were required to be recovered, researched, maintained and protected. It was clearly enacted in the Constitution that it was the duty and responsibility of all Myanmar nationals to preserve and maintain Myanmar cultural heritages.
Preservation, protection and maintenance of cultural heritages was conducted and led by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. In doing this ancient artifacts and buildings were protected and maintained. Scientific research and mappings were conducted to protect ancient artifacts and buildings from natural disasters. Laws were enacted to protect and preserve ancient artifacts and buildings and a new law on protection and preservation of cultural heritage regions was drawn up and enacted on 28 February 2019. The law was drawn up not only to protect and preserve cultural heritage regions but also to create livelihood opportunities for people in the region.
Committee members were conducting research, maintenance and uncovering of intangible cultural heritages and in addition to doing these works, coordination between departments must be made. Only then would the work of protecting and maintaining national cultural heritages progress and develop. All were therefore urged to openly come up with suggestions and discussions, said the Vice President.
Next, Central Committee Vice Chairman Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko explained about protection and maintenance of ancient artifacts, buildings, regions, tangible and intangible cultural heritages, cultural heritage regions and nearby regions.
Afterwards Deputy Minister U Kyi Min explained about protection and maintenance works of cultural heritage regions according to enacted laws and cooperation with local and international organizations.
Meeting attendees, Deputy Minister U Tin Myint and U Hla Maw Oo also joined in with sector wise explanations and discussions and Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko and Director General U Kyaw Lwin Oo made additional discussions.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio also made additional discussions on cooperation between relevant ministerial departments, local and foreign experts, UNECSO and international organizations; to conduct works on research and maintenance of Myanmar cultural heritages according to guidelines set by the National Cultural Central Committee; to prevent national cultural heritages from being tarnished through unruly acts and urged continued cooperation to implement suggestions made at the meeting and fulfill requirements.
The following senior officials attended the meeting:
Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko, Deputy Ministers U Tin Myint, U Kyi Min and U Hla Maw Oo, Permanent Secretaries, Directors-General, Yangon and Mandalay National University of Arts and Culture rectors, experts, representatives from Myanmar Historical Commission, Myanmar Artists and Sculptures Asiayone (Central), Myanmar Thabin Asiayone (Central) and Association of Myanmar Architects and officials. —MNA
(Translated by Zaw Min)