Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sri Lanka urges protection of Afghan Buddhist heritage

Sri Lanka urges protection of Afghan Buddhist heritage

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
This photo taken on June 7, 2015, shows the projected image of a Buddha statue in Bamiyan that had been destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. AFP

Sri Lanka urges protection of Afghan Buddhist heritage

Sri Lanka on Wednesday called on the world to safeguard the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan under the Taliban, who provoked outrage by destroying giant Buddha statues when they were last in power.

“I request the UN and the international community to ensure the protection of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the global body’s annual summit.

Buddhism, the majority religion in Sri Lanka, once flourished in Afghanistan, symbolized by the towering Buddha statues carved on the cliffs of Bamiyan that survived for 1,500 years.

The Taliban in March 2001 spent weeks blowing up the statues with dynamite and artillery, defying international appeals out of religious fervor as they pointed to Islam’s ban on idolatry.

Returning to power as US troops departed after 20 years, the Taliban have tried to project a more moderate image. But residents said the triumphant Taliban again blew up a statue in Bamiyan which honored a leader of the Hazara, a minority persecuted by the hardline Sunni Islamists.

The Bamiyan Valley still contains a network of caves housing temples, monasteries and Buddhist paintings.


  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (