Gammanpila to ask UNESCO for help

15 June 2023 09:01 pm – 2      – 584

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MP Udaya Gammanpila said that he intends to write to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to help safeguard Sri Lanka’s national heritage from its own government.

The public has been forced to protect archaeological heritage sites in the North and East from its own government, Gammanpila charged.

The MP was referring to the recent controversy surrounding the resignation of the Director General of the Department of Archaeology Prof. Anura Manatunga. Prof. Manatunga tendered his resignation after a public reprimand by President Ranil Wickremesinghe concerning an issue pertaining to the allocation of lands to an archaeological site.

“We are forced to protect heritage sites not from separatists or extremists, but our own government,” he said. He charged that the President has accepted false and misleading reports of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs without any hesitation or query.

Gammanpila also explained his party’s intention to visit a disputed land in Mullaitivu to expose false statements made by opposition groups. “Rather than trying to prove their lies from Colombo, members of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya will visit the Kurundi Raja Maha Vihara on June 21, to expose the lies of the TNA,” Gammanpila said.

He also called for the citizens of the country to act now to protect the country’s heritage. “At this rate, MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam will be appointed as the Director General of Archaeology and M. A. Sumanthiran will be appointed as the Minister of Cultural Affairs by the President. It is imperative that we act now before such a disaster takes place,” he said.

Gammanpila said that citizens in other countries usually request for the government to protect their national heritage and observed that the opposite is the reality in Sri Lanka. He also charged that the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration of 2001 to 2004 and 2015 to 2019 saw the most damage to archeology sites in the North and East of Sri Lanka. “We will be making a written request to UNESCO to help us protect our heritage from our own government,” he added. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)


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