news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 29, 2014 | 05:03 pm IST

The Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) has urged the National Heritage Department in Malaysia to stall a proposed development of the century-old Vivekananda Ashram in Brickfields.

Calling the Vivekananda Ashram a ‚Äėcultural heritage‚Äô of ‚Äėhistoric importance‚Äô, HINDRAF Chairman P Waytha Moorthy asserted that ‚Äúthe proposed development would naturally destroy the existing structure & building that has been standing there for over 100 years.‚ÄĚ

According to a report by The Malaysian Times, the proposed development of the ashram include building a ‚Äė23-storey residential tower with 264 units and an eight storey car park built at the site‚Äô.

Vivekananda Ashrama

( The Vivekananda Ashrama in Brickfields, Malaysia; Image Source: Save Vivekananda Ashramam Brickfields Facebook Page)

“The city of Kuala Lumpur has a gazetted Structure Plan way back in 2004 wherein we believe that the Swami Vivekananda Ashram had been classified as a Category 2 heritage building.

Malaysia which sits in the World Heritage committee is well positioned to understand the importance of cultural heritages such as the Swami Vivekananda Ashram based on the basic tenet of UNESCO in its effort to preserve heritage conservation‚ÄĚ, Moorthy said.

The Ashram in Brickfields has a bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda, an Indian philosopher. According to a report on HINDRAF's website, 'The statue and the ashram were built by the Jaffna (Sri Lankan) Tamil immigrants in 1904 in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who visited Malaya in 1893.'

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