Vice President U Henry Van Thio attends National Cultural Central Committee 4th Coord Meeting

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Vice President U Henry Van Thio attends National Cultural Central Committee 4th Coord Meeting



Vice President and Chairperson of the Myanmar National Cultural Central Committee U Henry Van Thio delivered an address at its fourth coordination meeting held at the meeting hall of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture yesterday morning.

At the meeting, Vice President U Henry Van Thio said: “Myanmar is a nation full of both cultural and natural heritages. We can see nationwide physical artefacts like arts and architectural creations that have been produced and maintained throughout the ancient Myanmar eras. Likewise, we can also see intangible cultural heritages like religions and faiths, customs and traditions, and festivals that are being maintained and carried inter-generationally among the ethnic national races of Myanmar.

“We need to be proud of these tangible and intangible cultural heritages for the State as well as for all citizens. Three ancient Pyu cities – Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Khsetra – were promoted to the status of world heritage sites on 22 June 2014. Bagan was also regarded as a world heritage site by the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee Conference, Baku in Azerbaijan on 6 July 2019.

“The Maha Lawka Marazein Kuthotaw Pagoda stone inscription, the Bagan Myazedi (Yazakumara) inscription, and the Bayintnaung Bell inscription in Bagan Shwezigon Pagoda were also among the world records. The Ananda Sandra stone inscription in Shitthaung pagoda, MraukU was also enlisted as one of the Asia-Pacific cultural heritages in 2018. We’re going to strive for this site to be considered by the UNESCO in 2020 as a world cultural heritage site.

“A Nomination Dossier (Draft) for the MraukU cultural heritage region was submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre through the Myanmar Permanent Representative Office in Paris. Sectorwise efforts are now being carried out to submit the Nomination Dossier (Complete) to the centre.

“We have thousands of intangible heritages in our country. We can see that there are 2,217 intangible national cultural heritages according to the certified list by the National Intangible Heritages Protection and Promotion Committee, chaired by the Union Minister of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. We need to continue the listing, recording and verifying work on the intangible cultural heritages.

“If you look into the UNESCO’s list on the world intangible heritages, you can see that there are 549 heritages represented by 127 countries. Myanmar could not put even one heritage yet in the list. “Myanmar Thanatkha Culture” can be seen nationwide and we need to exert our efforts to summit it as one of our intangible heritages and we should encourage these efforts to promote the status of our national cultural heritages to the world level.

“We need to uncover certain kinds of cultural heritages, which could be hidden, preserve and conduct research on them despite the fact that we have disclosed many cultural heritages throughout the country. The Constitution explicitly provides that all Myanmar citizens have responsibility to maintain and preserve the national cultural heritages.

“Protection and preservation work of Myanmar cultural heritages is mainly undertaken by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. In this regard, the Protection and Preservation of Ancient Monuments Law has been enacted in 2015. The new Law on Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Regions was also enacted on 28 February 2019. You can see that the new law protects and preserves not only ancient cultural heritages but it enhances harmonious development of local people, their livelihoods and their employment opportunities.

“In conclusion, we need to collaborate in our efforts to protect and preserve both tangible and intangible cultural heritages in Myanmar and all concerned departments should work together in the research work being carried out. All of you should put forward good advice and suggestions in this regard,” he urged.

Next, Central Committee Vice Chairman and Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko explained on the work process being done by the Central Committee, the status of protection and preservation of both tangible and intangible cultural heritages, and the efforts being undertaken to submit “Myanmar Thanatkha Culture” as a cultural heritage to the UNESCO.

Then, Permanent Secretary U Tun Ohn of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, U Moe Thant Kyaw from the Myanmar Artists and Sculptures Asiayone (Central), and U Ne Win from the Myanmar Thabin Asiayone (Central) discussed the matters in connection with the work done on the 14 decisions (out of 21), made by the third coordination meeting, the 7 ongoing implementation works to be recorded, their performance on protection and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritages, and the necessary measures to be undertaken.

Next, a round of discussions was held on the matters relating to the measures to take action against squatters on the ancient cultural heritage regions, the protection of the architectural heritages, the use of digital map in Bagan region, the participation of Myanmar Police in the protection and preservation work as well as security for foreign tourists in the cultural heritage regions, and research work on both tangible and intangible cultural heritages. Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko and Permanent Secretary U Tun Ohn added their explanations on the above matters.

Then, the Vice President said in his concluding remarks: “Cultural heritages of one country show its image. So we need to take responsibilities as Myanmar citizens to protect and preserve them. Foreign tourists are interested a lot in our natural sightseeing and cultural heritages. We need to develop tourism in this regard. Incomes from foreign tourists are very important. We can see the improvement rate (40.2 per cent) in our tourism sector according to the UN tourism report. We need to grow more Thanatkha plants in other regions. We need to promote Myanmar marionettes.”

Present on the occasion were Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Deputy Minister U Kyi Min, the Permanent Secretaries, the Directors-General, the rectors of the Universities of National Arts and Culture, the officials of the Myanmar Historical Commission, the Association of Myanmar Architects, the Myanmar Artists and Sculptures Asiayone (Central), the Myanmar Thabin Asiayone (Central), the Myanmar Music Association, the artistes and departmental officials among others.