Although instruction to stop building hotels in Bagan region has been given, the hotels still have been under construction and for that, a demonstration will be made, said Min Naing Aung, Chairperson of Bagan Lovers Organisation, at Royal Rose Hall in Yangon on November 1.
Preparations are underway to add Bagan cultural region to Unesco's World Heritage List, after three ancient Pyu cities became the first sites in Myanmar to join the list, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sandar Khin told the Upper House on October 30.
Once on the list, the more technical and financial assistance can be received to help preserve the sites, and the listings also help promote the sites as tourism attractions.
For Bagan's being added to World Heritage List, On September 3, in Nay Pyi Taw, the government officials and the Ministry of Culture warned the hotel business people who are currently enlarging and re-building their hotels in Bagan. Though, about 20 hotels are still under construction, said Min Naing Aung.
According to Win Maung from Bagan Lovers Organisation, there are weaknesses in the Ministry of Culture's conserving the ancient pagodas and there have been cases like: letting the cars drive till the floor of Ananda Pagoda and Shwe Si Gone Pagoda, being unable to clear the growing of trees on the floor that can destroy the pagoda, blocking the pagodas in the hotel compound so that the people cannot pay obeisance to, etc.
"The officials told when Unesco came that preserving the pagodas in Bagan is due to the Myanmar people's generosity. Those from Unesco replied that it might not be the people generosity concerning with the pagodas in the golf course.
During having dinner with them, I requested them to take out the pagodas in hotels. Aden hotel has been excavating for 19 years to build the hotel. In their compound, there are 14 ancient pagodas.
No outsiders are allowed to pay obeisance to these. Similarly, Adventure Hotel, which is currently under construction, covers ancient pagodas from 11th century behind theirs. Bagan Hotel, Thande Hotel, Thazin Hotel, Palm Garden Hotel, etc. construct their hotels over the pagodas.
Some hotels do not allow even the officials from Department of Archaeology to enter their hotel. Even though we complain about these to the Ministry of Culture, the ministry ignores," said Min Naing Aung, Chin Toe, Win Maung, all from Bagan Lovers Organisation.
Moreover, most of the hotels enlarge their compound more than they had been allowed before, and ancient pagodas and buildings come to be included in these enlarged areas, said Min Naing Aung.
For the enlarging and unstopping of building hotels, residents from Bagan and Bagan Lovers Organisation will cooperate and demonstrate in December, he added.
Regarding the Bagan Lovers Organisation's statement, when contacted to Myo Oo, Deputy Director of Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library - Sub-unit for Bagan region, he replied to know nothing about it.