Defence Secretary pledges to protect archaeological sites

October 29, 2020

Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said being a person who has served a lengthier tenure in Northern and Eastern Provinces in the island, I have seen the extent of devastation has taken place at the sacred places of Buddhist’s worship.

Since President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is very keen on safeguarding the sacred places of archaeological value, monthly discussions are being held to conserve while restoring them back to the former glory, following the requests made by Maha Sanga, he said.  

Mentioning on his recent appointment as Chairperson of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province along with field experts, he said, “We have commenced the process to restore and conserve them under the directives of Ven. Maha Sanga”

Recalling the Giant Stupa which is being erected in Anuradhapura, in memory of fallen war heroes, under a notion of former President and current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said, “We have also commenced the ‘Deegawapiya Stupa’ restoration process recently for devotees.

Indicating a similar activity propelled to regain the lands originally belonged to Muhudu Maha Viharaya he stated that the restoration and conservation of dilapidated Neelagiri Stupa in Lahugala will also be commenced, while pledging to conserve and protect all such places.  
He expressed these remarks during an event organized at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya today morning (29 Oct) to unveil a Statue of Lord Buddha which is intended to be transferred to the Thissa Rajamaha Viharaya in Palali, Jaffna for installation and veneration.

Venerable Maha Sanga including the Chief Prelate Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana thero, Rehabilitation Commissioner General Maj. Gen. (Retd) Darshana Hettiarachchi, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Senerath Bandara, Senior military officials and devotees were also present at the occasion.