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SL must protect its artefacts while trying to bring back stolen ones from foreign museums – DG Archaeology

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Director General of Archaeology, Prof. Anura Manatunga yesterday said that before trying to bring back the Sri Lankan artefacts in foreign museums, the country needed to protect archaeological sites in the country.

Prof. Manatunga said he had to sign at least 10 files a day to prosecute against those who had caused damages to archaeological sites.

Prof. Manatunga said that archaeological sites were being destroyed at a rapid pace.

International agreements prevented artefacts from being traded internationally, but there was a large black market for such items, Prof. Manatunga said.

“We must first try to establish our legal rights to Lankan artefacts in foreign countries. Our artefacts have been taken to 27 countries, 15 in Europe. There are some artefacts in the US and Canada too. Some of them are in various British colonies. Some of our artefacts are in India, but these were placed there by the British. There are many of them in Germany.”

In 1975, Hemasiri de Silva, the then Director of the National Museum of Colombo, published a catalogue of objects that were taken from Sri Lanka. The British were the most avid gatherers of Lankan cultural property, wrote Dr. Nazeema Kamardeen of the Department of Commercial Law at the Colombo University in her 2017 paper on the subject. “Cultural objects from Sri Lanka could be found in over 16 museums in England. The objects in British hands accounted for about half the entire catalogue and numbered well over 3,000. They included statues, coins, ivories, personal ornaments, utensils, boxes, weapons, musical instruments, toys, paintings, masks, manuscripts, and textiles.”

In 2010, Sri Lanka made an official request to various countries and private collectors to return cultural and religious artefacts and statues taken away in colonial times.



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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