President appoints Expert Committee to settle land issues in Kurundi, Thiriyaya Temples | Daily News

President appoints Expert Committee to settle land issues in Kurundi, Thiriyaya Temples

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to appoint an Expert Committee to conduct a formal inquiry and report on the claim of land area in extent of 5,000 acres for the Kurundi temple in the Mullaitivu District and Thiriyaya temple in the Trincomalee District for archaeological purposes. The President has ordered the relevant departments to immediately find out the basis for claiming such a large extent of land belonging to the Department of Forest, Lands Department and Wildlife Department. The Presidential Task Force on Archaeology established during the tenure of former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has allocated this land area. The Task Force has concluded that the area should be allocated for archaeology conservation purposes.

The President will appoint this Committee to find out with scientific data and evidence why such a large extent of land area is claimed for the Kurundi Vihara and Thiriyaya Vihara when such a vast area of land has not been allocated for the Anuradhapura Maha Vihara and Sigiriya.

Anuradhapura is considered the centre of Buddhism in the country and Sigiriya, which has a unique civilization based on irrigation tanks. The President has instructed Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake to investigate and reveal the land that belonged to the Maha Vihara, through this Expert Committee as some quarters are making statements thinking that the area in which Vithulyawadine were living belonged to the Maha Viharaya. The Committee will look into what basis the Government’s lands are being demanded for the Kurundi Viharaya and Thiriaya Viharaya.

This Committee will also have a responsibility to find out whether there is archaeological evidence that these temples actually had such a large area of land and report immediately.

Another purpose of the appointment of this Expert Committee was to resolve the conflict of opinion that arose with the resignation of the Director General of Archaeology after a statement made by the President regarding the historical background of the Kurundi temple.

The President is scheduled to participate in a European tour on Saturday (17) and it is reported that this Committee will be appointed before that.

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