Presidential Task Force to protect archaeological sites

22 May 2020 10:27 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that a Presidential Task Force will be appointed under the Defence Secretary to conduct a comprehensive survey of archaeological sites in the East and to take measures to preserve them, the President's Media Division said today.

He said several parties have voiced their concerns regarding the destruction done to historical monuments.

"After considering all aspects, a broad programme will be launched with the support of the Department of Archaeology in order to preserve historic sites," the President said during the second meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat with the Buddhist Advisory Council which is scheduled to meet on the third Friday every month.

The PMD said the Maha Sanga enlightened the President on the necessity of a religious discourse due to misconduct of certain monks that will cause discredit to the Buddhism and Tripitaka.

The President has said steps could be taken to rectify the situation during his tenure of office if corrective measures are proposed.

The clergy commended the initiatives launched under the guidance of the President to protect the entire citizenry in the wake of global pandemic of COVID-19 which has caused a devastating impact on every country in the world. President pointed out that it is a great achievement that not a single person from the community was found infected after April 30.

Those who are returning from abroad are being sent for quarantine. Of these returnees, few from Dubai and Kuwait have been infected with the virus. Safety measures are underway to examine people arriving from overseas under the instructions of health authorities.

The Buddhist Advisory Council discussed at a length on Pirivena education and school education system in the country. Maha Sanga pointed out how attempts were made to remove the subjects of Literature and History from the school curricula during certain periods in the past.

While pointing out that education is the first and foremost priority in his election manifesto, the President said preliminary steps have already been taken to implement a National Education Policy.

The Maha Sangha stressed the need of effective implementation of a comprehensive programme to defeat the drug menace threatening the country.

The Theras further said that there is a huge responsibility lies with the Maha Sangha in this regard in the same manner as that of the government.

President Rajapaksa said that large quantities of drugs that were smuggled into the country were seized within a very short period of time. He further said that he will take every possible step to control the prevailing situation to the maximum level as well as to totally eliminate the drug menace from the country.

The President pointed out that he will fulfill the responsibility for national security bestowed upon him to the highest level and he has appointed talented and expert individuals in charge of this task. The Intelligence Unit has been vested with full powers to deal with issues.

President Rajapaksa said that the security forces have been given the power to closely monitor the terrorist and extremist activities.

"The Maha Sangha further said that there are no words in the vocabulary to felicitate the speech made by the President at the National 'Ranaviru' commemoration Day and invoked blessings on the President.

The Theras said that there is a huge responsibility with the Maha Sangha to rebuild the society which has gone chaotic.

The Maha Sangha criticized the practice of certain media outlets that create a rift between the Maha Sangha and the politicians.

The Theras also pointed out that while the entire world appreciate the steps taken by the government to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, the behavior of the opposition was unacceptable.

Emphasizing that Maga Sanga has an enormous responsibility in the efforts in resuming normalcy in civilian life in the wake of the pandemic, the Theras pledged to work for the benefit of the society through a committee comprising Maha Sanga," the PMD said in a statement.

The Maha Sangha including Anunayake of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera, Anunayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Venduruwe Upali Thera, Registrar of Malwathu Chapter Most Venerable Pahamune Sri Sumangala Thera, Lekakadikari of the Malwathu Chapter Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thera, Chief Incumbent of the Ruwanweli Maha Seya, Ven Pallegama Hemaratana Thera, Maha Nayaka of the Amarapura Sri Dharmarakshita Nikaya Most Ven. Rajakiya Panditha Trincomalaye Ananda Thera, Chief Sanganayaka of Dakshinalanka Most Ven. Mataraba Hemarathna Thera and Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University, Prof. Ven. Kumburugamuwe Vajira Thera attended the meeting.

The Principal Advisor to the President, Lalith Weerathuga also participated in this meeting.

  Comments - 7

  • Kamal Saturday, 23 May 2020 08:18 AM

    Agree about the tremendous effort on the war against covid-19. But I can't understand the difference between responsibilities of the archeology department's and the task force. Because those task forces are temporary but the department is not.

    dara Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:45 AM

    'Oh,president os consolidated his 6.9 million vote base,it wil be intact

    Sen Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:59 AM

    Minister in charge of archeology and cultural affairs of previous government mr. Sajith pemadada turned blind eye on this issue, for few votes of land grabbers there , people of the country thankful to you, President for correct this very important topic

    Ups Saturday, 23 May 2020 12:14 PM

    Dear President, if you be able to correct unfair land grabning in east,deforestation and unlawful squatting of Wilpattu national wildlife reserve, by group of people back by unscrupulous politicians, you can reduce 35 lackhs of UNP votes to 15 votes,

    Borat Saturday, 23 May 2020 12:57 PM

    Now entire eastern province will be an archeological site . Makes the job easy for you and to appease the mad monks As election round the corner . To what low levels can people stoop to. God makes you mad before he destroys you

    Antony Jude Saturday, 23 May 2020 02:48 PM

    Tamil speaking community who are majority in the east will be losing their land. Because this task force contains only sinhala buddhists headed by a military person. God should save them.

    Tony Saturday, 23 May 2020 07:47 PM

    For public it's protection in reality it's treasure hunt.


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