Parakrama Samudra, a marvel of the ancient world, still not a world heritage site

Parakrama Samudra, a marvel of the ancient world, still not a world heritage site

Parakrama Samudra, a marvel of the ancient world, still not a world heritage site

Written by Zulfick Farzan

03 Sep, 2021 | 11:45 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); There is no doubt that Sri Lanka’s rich heritage need to be protected, however the recent events surrounding the Parakrama Samudra has raised serious concerns over damage caused to the marvels of the ancient world.

Although the construction of a jogging track by clearing the breakwater of the Parakrama Samudra was suspended, no effort has been made to restore the breakwater to its original state.

09 days after construction was halted, the damage is still visible to anyone visiting the Parakrama Samudra.

Most Venerable Wendaruwe Upali Thero, Anunayake of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Sect said that it is the responsibility of all Sri Lankans to ensure the protection of the Parakrama Samudra and its components, including the breakwater.

Furthermore, Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero, says that jogging paths are not built for the benefit of the people but for the benefit of large scale businessmen.

‘The people of Polonnaruwa are facing serious issues, and the need for a jogging track is not one of them,’ the Veneralble Thero said.

Professor Chandana Rohana Vithanachchi, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Rajarata University, explained the value of our wewa system, including the historic Polonnaruwa Parakrama Samudra.

“When we look at the ancient civilizations of the world, the irrigation industry is being built in comparison to the landscape in which those civilizations were built,’ he said.

“Although irrigation marvels exist in different regions of the world, they vary according to the topography of each region,’ he added noting that they are factors that are unique to each region.

“Because of those unique factors, some of the ancient marvels have been made World Heritage Sites, ” he added.

Sri Lanka is the only country in the world to have a wewa-based civilization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has recognized the Sri Lankan agrarian system, the “Ellanga Gammana” or Cascaded Tank-Village system in the Dry Zone as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).

Therefore, shouldn’t an effort be made to ensure that these sites receive world heritage status ?

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