UNESCO names Special Envoy to damaged Shiva temple on Thai-Cambodia border

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Nevada (US), Feb 12 (ANI): United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is sending Koochiro Matsuura, former UNESCO Director-General, as its Special Envoy to the damaged Preah Vihear Hindu temple on Thailand-Cambodia border, according to a United Nations release.

This Hindu temple, inscribed on the World Heritage List, has been damaged due to recent Thai-Cambodia clashes. Matsuura will address the issue of Preah Vihear and visit Bangkok and Phnom Penh to discuss how this Hindu sacred site can be safeguarded. He will examine with both sides how to lessen tension and promote dialogue around the preservation of the temple, the release adds.

Hindus, who had expressed serious concern at the reported damage, have welcomed the UNESCO move aimed at safeguarding the temple from future damage.

Notable Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that international community, UNESCO, and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) should immediately provide funding to bring back this Lord Shiva temple to its original shape as it was before Thai-Cambodia clashes began February four. These organizations should not shy away to shoulder their responsibility of saving the important heritage of the world and respecting the feelings of Hindus worldwide, Zed added.

Rajan Zed pointed out that this landmark age-old and revered Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple complex was important to Hindu heritage and must be preserved to pass it on to the future generations. Damage to 11th century Shiva temple was shocking and hurtful to the Hindu community world over. Lord Shiva, one of the major deities in Hinduism forming great triad with Brahma and Vishnu, was focus of worship of the Hindus, and it was important for them that Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple be protected. It was a world heritage and it was moral duty of the world to keep it intact for the coming generations, Zed stressed.

UNESCO had announced earlier this week that it would send a mission to assess the damage caused by the recent armed clashes between the two South-East Asian neighbors to the Shiva temple. (ANI)

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