Ramanna Nikaya lauds Govt decision | Sunday Observer
Archaeology Dept under Defence Ministry

Ramanna Nikaya lauds Govt decision

23 August, 2020

Ramanna Maha Nikaya Chief Sangha Nayaka Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera yesterday thanked the government for taking steps to bring the Archaeology Department under the Defence Ministry.

Ven. Dr Sobhitha Thera yesterday told the Sunday Observer that the prelates of the Ramanna Chapter had requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to place the Archaeology Department under the Defence Ministry about six months ago.

“I thank them both on behalf of the Mahasangha and the people for taking the much needed action,” he said.

“We asked previous governments to put the Archaeology Dept.under the Ministry of Defence, but nothing happened,” he said.

He said that he was not sure if the previous regime understood the value of preserving the archaeological heritage, or if simply that it did not value heritage.

“Archeological sites are not only our heritage; they are the world’s heritage. It helps us and the world to reconstruct the history of nations,” Dr. Sobhitha Thera said.

“The Archaeology Department was in bad shape and was unable to protect archaeological sites from the looting and vandalism which is taking place at a tremendous rate. It was unable to defend the archeological sites from destruction because it did not have the power to do that,” he said. “I am glad that the President made a wise move to change this by taking the matter under his authority as Minister of Defence,” he said.