Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor Wat advocate awarded ‘Asia’s Nobel’

Angkor Wat advocate awarded ‘Asia’s Nobel’

Angkor Wat advocate awarded ‘Asia’s Nobel’

A Japanese historian who helped save Cambodia’s renowned Angkor Wat temple complex was among the winners of this year’s Magsaysay Awards, widely regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, organisers said yesterday.

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, 79, was honoured for decades of work in helping preserve the historic landmark after the 12th-century temple complex barely survived years of war and civil strife, the award foundation said.

Aside from rallying international support to preserve the structures, the Japanese scholar was also cited for raising awareness among Cambodians of Angkor Wat’s importance to their heritage.

“The protection and restoration of the sites of Cambodia should be carried out by the Cambodians, for the Cambodians,” the award foundation quoted him as saying.

The Philippine Educational Theater Association was also honoured for 50 years of work in developing a national theatre, staging “protest” plays during the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and helping other Southeast Asian countries use the arts to advocate for issues related to sexuality, HIV/AIDs and gender.

Gethsie Shanmugam, 83, a Tamil psychological counsellor, also received the award for addressing emotional damage, particularly among women and children, who suffered from violence and disasters in her native Sri Lanka.

Her work covered the brutal Sinhalese-Tamil civil war and the 2004 tsunami, the foundation noted.

Indonesian Abdon Nababan, 53, also received the award for organising indigenous people in his country to assert their rights on issues like the forest lands in their territories.

Tony Tay, 70, received the award for addressing the unseen plight of the poor in wealthy Singapore, setting up “Willing Hearts”, in 2003, a charity that distributed packed meals to the needy and has since branched out to providing optical and dental care.

Lawyer Lilia de Lima, 76, was cited for her leadership of a government agency overseeing the Philippines’ export processing zones, turning the overstaffed, inefficient institution into one that has won widespread respect while boosting exports and attracting investments, the foundation said.

The Manila-based Ramon Magsaysay Award, named after a Filipino president killed in a plane crash, was established in 1957 to honour people and groups tackling development problems in Asia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the