Demolition of king’s assembly hall in Kurunegala stirs protests

Demolition of king’s assembly hall in Kurunegala stirs protests

Demolition of king’s assembly hall in Kurunegala stirs protests

Written by Staff Writer

18 Jul, 2020 | 9:43 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The demolition of a part of an archaeological construction has stirred up demonstrations, with authorities being urged to take action against the suspects.

A section of the assembly hall of King Bhuvanaikabahu II in Kurunegala had been demolished this week, sparking outrage after the mayor in the area defended the move.

“We wish to question the Municipal Council on the grounds for this demolition. Why wasn’t the approval of the archaeological department obtained?,” Namal Karunaratne, a unionist said.

The Kurunegala Mayor on Friday claimed what had been torn down was a hotel belonging to a person named Buwaneka, to allow the widening of a road.

“What must not be done now is to appoint commissions and delay this matter,” Patali Champika Ranawaka, the general secretary of the Jathika Hela Urumaya said.

Politicains claimed that the building had been demolished to construct hotels, or bars in the area.

“If the suspects are close to the Rajapaksas, action won’t be taken even if the entire building is demolished,” Sujeewa Senasinghe of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya remarked.

The department of archaeology that is carrying out investigations said a report is to be submitted to the Prime Minister next week.

“We have gathered enough data to submit a report,” Prof. Senarath Dissanayake, the director general of the Department of Archaeology said.

He added that the investigation focuses on estimating the losses and examining the possibility of restoring the construction.

Offences relating to the theft and destruction of antiquities can result in a jail term of two to five years, according to the antiquities ordinance.

The suspects cannot be granted bail until the hearing of the case concludes in court.

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