Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne pledged to protect and preserve archaeological and historic sites from vandalism and encroachments by individuals and organized groups.
Gunaratne made this assurance when he met with some villagers and Buddhist priests during his visit on Thursday to Muhudu-Maha Viharaya and Deegawapiya archaeological sites in the Ampara district in the Eastern province.
The visit was in response to recent mainstream and social media news reports of widespread and unprecedented encroachments and vandalism of several archaeological and historical sites in the country.
“Damages to national heritages, intended or otherwise, will not be tolerated and all possible actions will be taken within the existing law to bring the culprits to book,” the Defence Secretary said.
Gunaratne reiterated the national treasures – the archaeological and historical sites — would be protected and preserved irrespective of the religion and ethnicity for the benefit of the country’s future generation.
“Sri Lanka has been experiencing an increase in vandalizing and also encroaching those sites by certain individuals and groups during the last few years. It is unfortunate to learn that some people are damaging those sites and also encroaching some of the important religious sites in the presence of the law enforcement,” Gunaratne claimed.