The damaged face of a 53-meter-high Buddha statue. The country's ruling Taliban have blown up the top quarter of this statue, a Pakistan-based Afghan news service reported March 9, 2001. REUTERS/Muzammil Pasha. (Courtesy: Yahoo News)
Reuters quoted Taleban spokesman Abdul Hayee Mutmaen as saying that the statues could finish at any moment.
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga announced recently that government was willing to finance an international drive to save the Buddha statues threatened with destruction. President Kumaratunga wrote to UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan expressing her government’s willingness to join all international endeavours to save the statues.
BBC reported today that Kofi Annan, in Pakistan on a tour of the region, had described the Taleban's acts as a disservice to themselves and to Islam.
Last week, Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahamad Mutawakel said in Kabul, that international tension would not succeed in saving the ancient Buddhist statues. This statement was made after Japan launched a new campaign to save the statues and a day after the UNESCO envoy had said that the irreplaceable relics had not yet been badly damaged, holding out hope they may yet win a reprieve.
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