President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is considering amending the Antiquities Ordinance in order to strengthen the preservation of antiquities and historical national heritage.
The President has decided to appoint a committee comprising the Buddhist clergy and experts in the field to study how the amendments should take place.
The proposed amendment seeks to stop the destruction caused to antiquities and to pass on the country’s heritage to the future generation while resolving practical issues.
The decision was taken by the President during the fourth meeting with the Buddhist Advisory Council held at the Presidential Secretariat today (24).
Archeological conservation and development were discussed at length.
President Rajapaksa said that no room will be left for anyone to damage the historical heritage or archaeological value of any sacred place and all such places will be considered as national heritage and will be protected. Proposals by the clergy on antiquities and archaeological sites will be forwarded to the respective Presidential Task Force, the President added.
He also said measures will be taken to increase annual fund allocation to the Department of Archeology and to address the shortage of employees.
The possibility of obtaining the services of the Civil Defence Force in the implementation of the programme of conserving archaeological sites and antiquities was also explored.
The attention of the President was also drawn to the request made by the clergy to transfer the cases relating to artefacts and historical places in the Northern and Eastern Province, to courts in Colombo.
President Rajapaksa instructed the Department of Archaeology to make swift responses to the requests made by the Buddhist clergy to protect archaeological and historical sites. (Colombo Gazette)