Vandalizing archaeological sites - Cabinet approves upping fines, jail terms

9 March 2019 05:11 pm - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Cabinet has approved the enactment of fresh legislation to increase fines and jail terms for those convicted of vandalizing archaeological sites and artefacts, an official said yesterday.

As such the minimum fine for such offences will be increased from the present rate of Rs.50,000 to Rs.500,000 and the maximum to two million rupees. The new piece of legislation will be enacted as an amendment to Sri Lanka Antiquities Ordinance No 9 of 1940.

The ordinance introduced in 1940 during the British rule has been amended on three occasions in the post-independence period.

Director General of Archaeology, Prof. P.B. Mandawala told Daily Mirror that Cabinet approval for amending the law was obtained on Wednesday. He said his office had worked out proposals to amend the existing law while Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa expedited the process.

“Once we are informed of the Cabinet approval in writing, we will refer it to the Legal Draftsman’s Department to put it in a legal format,” he said.

Mr. Mandawala said the decision was taken in the face of increased damage to archaeological sites.

Sri Lanka currently has 223 archaeological reserves and 3,200 monuments while new monuments are added to the list based on the latest discoveries. (Kelum Bandara)

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  Comments - 6

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  • Arnold Sunday, 10 March 2019 07:05 AM

    But they should put up signs around the monuments and most importantly in the airport about this law, instead of waiting like the traffic cops behind trees to nab the wrong doers AFTER the do their stuff!!

    Unchikun Sunday, 10 March 2019 08:10 AM

    Robbing banks?

    SL Sunday, 10 March 2019 09:12 AM

    good move,why doesn't people regarding this!

    Lankan Netizen Sunday, 10 March 2019 09:20 AM

    First of all pass a cabinet paper to implement signs ordering people not yo take pics if you want to implement a fine. Nobody knows they arent supposed to do that.

    bindu Monday, 11 March 2019 07:17 AM

    Any punishment should hurt the wrong doers.

    rogue Monday, 11 March 2019 09:13 AM

    I'm sure no one in their right mind would go about vandalizing archaeological sites. The authorities should also put up proper sign boards notifying the public of such locations and monuments. No one would want the police come and tell me old brick slab they're sitting on are the ruins of a 1000 year old castle and then take them to jail.


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