Maha Sangha opposes destruction of Parakrama Samudra breakwater

Maha Sangha opposes destruction of Parakrama Samudra breakwater

Written by Zulfick Farzan

27 Aug, 2021 | 4:17 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Maha Sangha have taken a stand against the destruction of the breakwater of the historic Parakrama Samudra, which is being flattened to create a jogging path.

The Maha Sangha from multiple temples across the Polonnaruwa District made their way to the construction site on Friday (27) morning to witness for themselves the destruction caused to an ancient water conservation system.

On Thursday (26) News 1st for the very first time exposed how the breakwater of the ancient Parakrama Samudraya is being bulldozed for the construction of a walking path.
Video obtained by News 1st showed that bulldozers were being used to shove the rocks of the breakwater into the Parakrama Samudraya to construct a new walking path around the ancient water system.
This 08 feet wide walking path will cover a 1.7 km stretch from the Divisional Secretary Official Residence to the D. S. Senanayake memorial at the Number 01 Sluice Gate of the Parakrama Samudraya.
The proposal for this walking path was moved by the Urban Development Authority and construction will cost a whopping Rs. 34 million.
Farmers in the area point out that the construction will inevitably damage the reservoir.
The massive 116,000-acre-feet of water that the Parakrama Samudraya holds, is protected by the breakwater and area residents point out that during certain seasons with the increase in winds speeds, the breakwater stays firm against almost ocean wave-like currents.
Water has become the most vital component for the existence of human beings, animals, and the plantation.
Even the great King Parakramabahu who ruled the country for 33 years from 1153 AD- 1186 AD asked his countrymen to use water sparingly.
History reveals that King Parakramabahu had made an immense contribution towards the agricultural industry in the country and the Parakrama Samudra was his greatest ever contribution to the people of Sri Lanka.
King Parakramabahu’s famous quote on water conservation and utilization “Do not release even a drop of rainwater to the sea without using it ” is still living in the hearts of the people.
This is sound advice to many present-day people who do not know the value of this nature’s gift.
This water system is so large it was called samudhraya or ocean.
In addition to that, strong winds cause swells in the Parakrama Samudraya, so large to the size of ocean waves.
It is this breakwater that has protected the water in the Parakrama Samudraya for centuries, without letting a drop of water go to waste.
The construction of a walking path clearly slaps an insult to the great knowledge that our ancestors possessed in creating such marvels that even stun today’s engineering giants.

Questions have been raised to who authorized such construction with a lack of understanding on the importance of the Parakrama Samudraya.

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