- Suspects caused damages to Mannar religious shrines to be brought before the law
Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne responding to media over the causing of damages to Mannar religious shrines by pelting stones recently stated that directives were given to the law enforcing agencies to conduct an inquiry with immediate effect to nab all those involved.
He also pledged every action would be taken to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in future by executing legal proceedings against the wrongdoers.
The Defence Secretary and Chairperson of ‘Archaeological Heritage Management Presidential Task Force’ (PTF) for Eastern Province, Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) expressed these remarks during an inspection visit made to the Deegawapiya construction site today (15 July).
Sri Sambodhi Maha Vihara Chief Prelate and the Buddhist Media Network Director Ven. Boralande Vajiragnana thero, Deegawapiya Temple Chief Prelate Ven. Mahaoya Sobitha thero, Assistant Coordinating Director for Piriven Education in Eastern Province, Ven. Kirindiwela Sri Somarathana thero and Industries Minister Hon. Wimal Weerawansa were also present during the visit.
“It is glad to catch a glimpse that a substantial work portion has been completed thus far” Gen. Gunaratne said while adding “We are accomplishing the task within next two and a half years”.
Citing the fast-tracked standard brick production process planned for the project, he said since the inauguration, we have reached up to a height of 10 feet of the Stupa as of today.
The Defence Secretary mentioning the much valued inward flow of funds for the project from various devotees also requested contributions for the noble endeavour from devotees through the account maintained at the Bank of Ceylon.
“We have strengthened the force involved in the process and also expect to reach 12 to 15 feet elevation in a short span”, he said the former glory of the Deegawapiya will be restored in the year 2023.
Further illustrating on improvements in the pipeline, Gen. Gunaratne reiterated “A fully-fledged Pilgrims Rest (Vishrama Shala) would be constructed while setting a charming environment surrounded by trees”.
Relics chamber construction, natural resources for standard brick production and planting of tree saplings were the other areas concerned during the meeting convened separately with the project stakeholders.
Buddhist Media Network donated three tractor machines and hand gloves to the Deegawapiya Stupa restoration project in a bid to brace the enormous effort undertaken by the military and the Civil Defence Force.
Meanwhile, 20 tablet computers were also presented to the Piriven and School students in the area to facilitate their education on the sidelines of the event.
Minister Weerawansa responding to media during the session stated an avenue would also be sought to assist the standard brick production through the Ceylon Ceramics Cooperation resources.
Ven. Maha Sanga, Public Security Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. Jagath Alwis (Retd), Director General of the Civil Security Department Maj. Gen. Ranjan Lamahewage (Retd), Director General of Archaeology Prof. Anura Manatunga, Ceylon Ceramics Corporation Chairman Jude Fernando, Military Liaison Officer of the Ministry of Defence Brig. Dinesh Nanayakkara, Senior Military and Police Officers, Architects, Archaeologists, Engineers and regional state officials were also present during the visit.