Department of Archaeology turns a blind eye to destruction of the Divulana wewa

Department of Archaeology turns a blind eye to destruction of the Divulana wewa

Written by Staff Writer

21 Jul, 2019 | 10:16 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The Ampara District Secretary has written to the Director of the Department of Irrigation requesting for action to be taken against the officials of the Irrigation Department who had damaged the Damana Divulana historic wewa in Ampara.

The request was based on the observations made by officials of the Damana divisional secretariat who visited the Divulana wewa on Thursday. The Divulana Wewa that emerged with the drying up of the Nawagiriyawa reservoir due to the drought, is considered to have been built in 3rd century B.C.

As this area falls within the four corners of the Rajagala archaeological zone the Divulana wewa is covered by the provisions of the Antiquities Ordinance. Officials of the Kalawanchikudi irrigation engineers office had destroyed the Sluice gate of the Divulana wewa and let the remaining water in this wewa to flow to the Nawagiriyawa reservoir on the 7th of this month.

Action TV revealed on Sunday the details of the actions of the officer-in-charge of the Bakkiella police who negotiated a settlement on the matter after a fisherman in the area lodged a complaint. The OIC had done this disregarding the provisions of the Antiquities Ordinance.

These are attempts being made to provide water to nourish the farmlands of a businessman like farmers in the Batticaloa district who have sowed seeds on an area larger than the area that had been agreed upon at the seasonal meetings of farmers. On Thursday when the officials of the Uhana divisional secretariat visited the wewa, the Irrigations Department had sent one of its technical officers to the location.

However, the Department of Archeology considering this issue as one that does not fall under the ambit of their purview had not sent a single official of the department to the location. This letter sent by the Ampara District Secretary to the Director of the Department of Irrigation states that Irrigation Department officials from Batticaloa had damaged this wewa located in Ampara.

With the destruction of the sluice gate, the water levels in the Divulana wewa had dropped to a point where the fish in the wewa has started to die. Given the archaeological importance of this site, the question remains as to why the Department of Archeology has been a no show on the ground where this national treasure is being blatantly destroyed.

Director-General of Archaeology for your attention!

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