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

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial