Harsh punishment for vandalising artefacts | Daily News
Antiquities Ordinance will be amended - Minister :

Harsh punishment for vandalising artefacts

Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa said the Antiquities Ordinance will be amended to increase penalties and punishment for those desecrating artifacts and archaeological sites.

The amendments will help protect valuable artefacts for posterity.He said that existing fines and punishment for treasure hunting, sacrilege of archaeological sites are very lenient and the Antiquities Ordinance will be amended to revise them to protect the country’s archaeological sites.

He added that interim mechanism will be put in place until the Antiquities Act is amended.

The Minister was addressing the media after receiving the blessings of Mahanayake Theras of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters in Kandy yesterday.

Minister Premadasa laid the foundation for the conservation of the Doragamuwa Temple of the Malwatte Viharaya at a cost of Rs.15.2 million and Western Vahalkada of Asgiriya Viharaya costing Rs. 5.7 million.

Minister Premadasa said that he will meet the Mahanayake Theras once a fortnight to formulate a mechanism to rectify shortcomings.

He said the Archaeological Department and the Central Cultural Fund will maintain close coordination with the Maha Sangha in future.

He added that this decision will help prevent shortcomings caused by the shortage of officials.

Premadasa added that he has given specific instructions to officials to carry out development activities in a transparent manner, “If development work is not properly carried out, the relevant contract would be annulled,”he said.


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