Dilith Jayaweera among members of Task Force on Archaeological Management in East

Controversial businessman and owner of a private media network Dilith Jayaweera has been included in the Presidential Task Force on Archaeological Management in the Eastern Province.

The gazette on the appointment of the new Task Force has been issued.

The members of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province are as follows;

  1. Archaeological Chakravarthi Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero 
  2. The Chief Prelate for the Northern and Eastern two Provinces, Chief Sanganayake of Thamankaduwa Direction, and Chief Incumbent of Arisimalai Aranya Ven. Panamure Thilakawansha Thero 
  3. Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne Esquire – Secretary to the Ministry of Defence 
  4. Dr. Senarath Bandara Dissanayake Esquire Director – General of Archaeology 
  5. Ms. Chandra Herath – Land Commissioner General
  6. Ms. A.L.S.C. Perera – Surveyor General 
  7. Prof. Raj Kumar Somadeva Esquire – Senior Lecturer, University of Kelaniya 
  8. Prof. Kapila Gunawardena Esquire – Medical Faculty, University of Peradeniya 
  9. Deshabandu Thennakoon Esquire – Senior DIG, Western Province 
  10. H.E.M.W.G. Dissanayake Esquire – Provincial Land Commissioner, Eastern Province 
  11. Dilith Jayaweera Esquire – Chairman of Derana Media Network
  12. Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris Esquire- Director General of Civil Security Department

The Task Force is tasked with identifying sites of archaeological importance in the Eastern Province, and identifying and implementing an appropriate program for the management of archaeological heritage by conserving and restoring such identified sites and antiquities.

It will further identify the extent of land that should be allocated for such archaeological sites and take necessary measures to allocate them properly and legally.

Preserve the cultural value of sites of archaeological importance and promote the uniqueness of Sri Lanka, both locally and internationally, and make recommendations for the promotion of such heritages.

In view of the new appointments, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne Esquire will be appointed as the Chairman of the Task Force, and Senior Assistant Secretary to the President Jeevanthie Senanayake as the Secretary of the said Task Force.

The President further authorized the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province to investigate and issue directions as may be necessary in connection with the functions entrusted to it.

Further, the Presidential Task Force on Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province may issue instructions or request that all Government Officers and other persons requesting assistance in the provision of services comply with such instructions.  

The President also directed the said Task Force to report to him, all cases of delay or default on the part of any Public Officer or Officer of any Ministry, Government Department, State Corporation or other similar institution in the discharge of duties and responsibilities assigned to such public officer or such institution. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Rev.Medhananda has all the experience – sinhala heritage, archaeology, buddhist antiquities, especially in the North East.
    His well researched Publications will stand as evidence. He is the ideal ambassador to lead the Task Force. I hope this is not going to be a ‘white elephant’ like the Dept. of Archaeology, or an election stunt. People will expect to know the real progress.

  2. Apart from the determination, the Task Force needs funding if they are to engage in a comprehensive review of our decaying
    religious sites. All members should work in unison with no stone unturned. Rev. Medananda has done extensive research under extreme difficulties in the North and East, and has well documented the sad state of affairs. Instead of ‘lip sympathy’ the Buddhists plead for action from the educated members of the Task Force.

  3. Look forward to action by these eminent, influential appointees.
    Buddhist society will breathe a sigh of relief. If they can roll back the decades of decadence and restore or conserve the historical and religious monuments, restore the encroached the Lands and make long term provisions for security, it will be a commendable service.

  4. We applaud the President for this initiative. These historical places were the gifts left by our Kings. Can we ever afford or have the will to build even ONE now ? So our duty is to protect and preserve these ruins for perpetuity. Department of Archaeology should be shaken up and made accountable. Pen pushers sitting in comfortable offices will be a hindrance.

  5. Hats off to the President for realising the downward spiral of our archaeological sites, encroachment of sacred lands belonging to Temples, wilful destruction of artefacts by minority races. Buddhists should be actively encouraged to visit these places and not to leave them isolated. Incumbent monks are losing heart because up-to now, even the Police of these areas were apathetic. Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Archaeological Dept etc are not engaged with what they are standing for. This new Tadk Force should look into these also.

  6. This should have happened post LTTE time. However this has to be done methodologically and documented properly. A good initiative, with professionals on board.

  7. What a blessing for our heritage, thanks to GR. All previous govts turned a blind eye to destruction of sacred sites, temples and encroachments of Temple Land eg. Pottuvil. Dept. of Archaeology was only in NAME. I hope these lands are Surveyed, plans drawn and ownerships legally restored. Some incumbents are also responsible for disposal of Temple Lands. Looks like the President has appointed a dedicated group of professionals for the implementation of this long overdue programme.

Comments are closed.