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Vivekanda Ashrama Is Now A Heritage Site, All Thanks To Nazri

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Kuala Lumpur’s historic building, the Vivekananda Ashrama, has just confirmed to be gazetted as a heritage site, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said Heritage Commissioner on July 15 had made the decision under Section 31 of the National Heritage Act.

According to The Star, Nazri said that the decision is final, and which means that the management of the ashram is not allowed to carry out any form of development to the site or its surroundings.

In a report by the New Straits Times, Nazri said that initially, the Government had rejected the appeal by the board of trustees of the ashram who were against gazetting the building and land as heritage site.

“Even though it is a heritage site, the owner of the land is in charge of the site. No financial help will be given to them by the Government,” Nazri said in reply to M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) in Parliament.

Nazri then told the parliament that he had asked the Jabatan Warisan Negara to gazette the site.

“If they want to make changes to the building or land, or if they want to do something to it, they must meet the heritage commissioner.”

The Vivekananda Ashrama, Kuala Lumpur is an institution started by the Jaffna (Sri Lankan) Tamil immigrants in 1904 in honour of Swami Vivekananda.

The building, constructed in 1908, is dedicated to his work in providing education and spiritual development for the youth and community.

TVAKL is on Jalan Tun Sambathan in Brickfields, and the land currently holds the Ashrama building, a hostel and a partially constructed Sangeetha Abivirithi Sabha auditorium (it was never fully completed since the 70’s due to financial constraints). There is also a bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda.-MYNEWSHUB.CC

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