Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Demand for 'sacred site' status for Setu

Demand for 'Sacred Site' status for Sethu
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 15:02 IST

LONDON: Campaigners protesting against the dredging of the Sethusamudram Ship Channel have demanded that Gulf of Mannar, which is home to the Ram Sethu, be designated as 'Sacred Site'.

The announcement for seeking a 'Sacred Site' status was made by Martin Palmer, Secretary General of Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and religion and ecology advisor to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at a two-day meeting here.
"The Gulf of Mannar has enormous spiritual significance within both Hinduism and Islam," he said during his announcement.

"The meeting erupted into applause when he made the announcement. To get the Gulf of Mannar recognised on the international conservation stage will be a huge step forward in preserving its sanctity and ecology for future generations," Kusum Vyas, founder of The Living Planet Foundation, which organised the London meeting, said.

'Sacred Site' is now an international term of protection for sites that are spiritually, religiously, culturally and ecologically important.

Flowing between South-East India and Sri Lanka, the Gulf of Mannar is home to Ram Sethu or Adam's Bridge, a site of immense spiritual significance for both Hindus and Muslims worldwide.

Situated in South-Asia's largest biosphere reserve, it is also one of the last remaining biological hot-spots on the planet, offering sanctuary to numerous endangered plant and animal species such as the dugong and the green turtle.


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