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PMD issues clarification on Kurundi Viharaya lands

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The President’s Media Division has issued a clarification with regard to a letter by Ven. Dr.  Ellawala Medhananda Thera, who had written to the President over the lands around the Kurundi Viharaya.

The full statement of the PMD is as follows : 

In a letter, Ven. Dr.  Ellawala Medhananda Thera conveyed that lands not belonging to the Kurundi Viharaya were being instructed to be transferred to the public, despite the presence of scattered ruins of Buddhist monasteries in various locations around the temple. 

He argued that it would be inappropriate to distribute these lands and highlighted instances where the acquisition of land had been done through coercion. Consequently, he asserted that the ownership of these lands should not be transferred.

In response to Dr. Medhananda’s letter, the President’s Secretary, Mr. Saman Ekanayake, sent a clarifying letter dated June 15, 2023. The letter emphasized that Kurundi Viharaya holds significant archaeological value for Sri Lankans and reassured that no decision had been made to transfer government lands associated with the temple to any other party. As a resolution to land-related issues in the North and East regions, it was suggested that lands categorized as forests and wildlife zones prior to 1985 should continue to be protected.

Furthermore, the letter addressed the confusion created by media reports, which erroneously mixed up discussions regarding the ruins of Kurundi Vihara and the Tiriya area. It stated that an investigation had been initiated concerning certain paddy lands surrounding Kurundi Viharaya, and a report would be submitted to the District Secretary of Mullaitivu. The Director General of Archaeology was also notified about this through the President’s Secretary’s letter. Additionally, the government’s commitment to identifying and safeguarding sites and lands of archaeological significance under the jurisdiction of the district secretary was reiterated.

The President’s Secretary also mentioned in the letter to Archaeologist Dr. Ellawala Medhananda Thera that the government sought the assistance of Professor Robin Cunningham, known for his excavation work at the Lumbini Maya Devi Temple in Nepal. The plan was to conduct excavations around the Mahaviharaya and prioritize the reopening of the Mahavihara University. These intentions were conveyed to Dr. Medhananda Thera for his awareness.

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Policeman shoots himself dead

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A police sergeant shot himself near the Kotawila Court complex, using his service firearm.

The deceased is a 52-year-old sergeant attached to the Kotawila Police Station.He had killed himself at the police post of the Kotawila Court Complex after returning to work from a prolonged sick leave.

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Political parties to be briefed on Regulation of Election Expenditure Act

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The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has decided to brief all political parties on the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act.

Chairman of the Commission – R. M. A. L. Ratnayake explained that the discussion will be held today (Feb. 27) and on March 06 as the upcoming elections will be the first to be held since the Act was passed.

According to the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act, all expenses incurred for the purpose of elections and campaigns must be limited, he noted.

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This week’s Cabinet decisions

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A number of decisions have been taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (Feb.26).

The decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers are as follows:

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