A Monumental Dilemma

  1. What is the dilemma in “A Monumental Dilemma?”

The dilemma refers to the state of disrepair that is befallingthe Angkor Archeological Park.  The park is experiencing temple destruction and widespread pollution. The park attracts three million tourists yet none of the revenue collected from ticket sale is being channeled back to maintain the archeological park.The tourists visit does a lot of damage to the temples, this coupled with the looting and vandalism that takes place in the temples further destroys the temples. In addition, a lot of waste is being produced with no mechanism in place to ensure that the temples are conserved or protected.There is also the concern with regards to the overuse of water which had previously destroyed the city of Angkor. Presently, the overuse of water is damaging and destabilizing the temple’s sand foundation resulting to the temples sinking. Despite all these damage nothing is being done to conserve the park, thus it becomes a monumental dilemma.

  1. Given what you know about the world, what are the issues influencing the dilemma

The state of the dilemma is being influenced by a combination of many factors.Politically, the unavailability of funds to restore and conserve the temples is being caused by the unwillingness of the political elite to commit funds for maintenance of the temples. Corruption in part from the government and the company engaged in ticketing at the temples, coupled by the friendship of the political class with private companies makes selfish interest the driving force behind running the Angkor temples.

Environmentally, the foundation of the Angkor temples was founded on sand this made them susceptible to water. Additionally, the presence of tourists and the local populace coupled with the absence of an authority to ensure that the temples and well maintained and that basic etiquettes are observed resulted to adverse pollution of the environment.Economically, the temples are a rich source of revenue for the Cambodia’s economy yet none of the revenues seem to trickle down to the common citizenry. Most of it is being used for personal gain with the lion’s share of the revenue goingto the company charged with ticketing, while the rest ends up in government officials pockets through corrupt means. None of the money is being reinvested back to maintain or conservethe Angkor temples.

In terms of culture, the rich history and heritage of the Cambodian people goes to compliment the attractiveness of the Angkor Archeological Park. The monks, the people living around the park, and the tourist visiting the site all go towards enriching the cultural heritage of the region. This further goes towards attracting more tourists to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage site, and for as long as no funds are being channeled back to conserve the destruction of the site will continue.

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