Written by Zulfick Farzan
16 Jul, 2020 | 9:37 pm
Colombo (News 1st); A 13th Century Kings Court (dating back to the Kurunegala / Yapahuwa Kingdom Era) was torn down by the Kurunegala City’s mayor hours before excavation and restoration was to begin at the site.
The Kings Court of King Bhuvanaikabahu II who established Kurunegala as his kingdom, had been supported by a wooden construction.
Earlier, a building had been constructed to protect this archaeologically important site that is located in the heart of the Kurunegala town.
The Kings Court and the building had fallen under the supervision of the archaeology department.
A portion of the building had been bulldozed, hours before the archaeology department had planned to carry on excavation on Thursday.
“We had informed the police that there is a danger that this portion of the building can be demolished. However, action was not taken,” Prof. Senarath Dissanayake, the director general of the department of archaeology said.
The Kurunegala Mayor told News 1st that the Road Development Authority (RDA) had permitted the demolition of the building to widen a road running through the area.
The failure of the Mayor to obtain approval from the Archaeology Department and the approval granted by the RDA to demolish the building, is a violation of the Antiquities Ordinance.
“I instructed my officials to immediately bring the suspects before the law,” Prof. Dissanayake said.
Ven. Girihagama Gunaratne Thero, the Secretary of the Kurunegala Sasanarakshaka Balamandala said that the Kings Court is located under the building.
“…this place was to be named as an archaeological site. Archaeological excavations were set to begin today(Thursday),” he stressed.
The police is yet to take action over a complaint filed by the Archaeology Department over this matter.
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