English Section

      Buddhism Today 

Vietnamese Section


...... ... .  . .  .  .
Security Council slams Buddha destruction

UNITED NATIONS (March 8): The UN Security Council condemned the order by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to destroy pre-Islamic relics as an "incomprensible and wanton" act of violence against the country's cultural heritage.

Council members on Tuesday joined other UN bodies, governments, religious and cultural organizations in urging the Taliban to halt the destruction of an important part "of the world's cultural treasure."

Ukraine's acting UN ambassador Valeri Kuchynski, who read the council statement, said the latest information the council had was that "the Taliban authorities started the preparation for the destruction but we have not received the actual confirmation that the destruction took place."

Efforts are being made to prevent the destruction of the non-Islamic shrines and artifacts, he told reporters. Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has been in contact with the Taliban through an intermediary in Afghanistan trying to negotiate the possibility of moving the biggest and most important Buddha statues to other places

at the museum's expense, Kuchynski said.

But the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, reiterated Tuesday that the Feb. 26 order by the leader of the Islamic religious militia, Mullah Mohammed Omar, to destroy all statues in the country as idolatrous will be carried out despite the international outcry.

The Security Council statement also expressed "grave concern" at the famine and continued suffering of the Afghan people, who are facing the worst drought in a generation. Council members deplored the civil war "and the absence of effective government that might address this humanitarian disaster."

"The factions' continuing fighting while the Afghan people suffer demonstrates a profound lack of concern for the very people in whose name they fight," the council said.


Updated: 8-3-2001

Return to "Buddhism around the World"

Top of Page