Published on: March 4, 2024

New Act Proposed to Preserve Archaeological Heritage – Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Vidura Wickramanayaka

Mr. Vidura Wickremanayaka, the Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs, announced collaborative efforts with the Department of Archaeology to develop a new bill aimed at formally managing the discovery and preservation of the nation’s antiquities and archaeological heritage. Additionally, the minister noted that Bikkhu Dialogue is anticipated to contribute to the drafting of this bill.

Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka expressed these views today at a press briefing themed “Collective path to a Stable Country” held at the Presidential Media Centre today (04).

Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka further commented;

Our ministry is committed to allocating the required financial resources to implement crucial reforms aimed at safeguarding sacred sites, which are currently being upheld under challenging circumstances. The pertinent documents are currently under review. The ministry anticipates disbursing the financial allocation to the respective sacred places by March 15, 2024.

A collaborative effort is underway between the Department of Archaeology to formulate a new act aimed at the discovery, preservation, and formal inheritance of the country’s antiquities and archaeological heritage for future generations.

Concurrently, groundwork is being laid to establish fundamental regulations pertaining to specific aspects encompassed within the act. Furthermore, diverse viewpoints and recommendations are actively being sought from multiple stakeholders in this endeavour.

We are also aiming to draft the Bhikshu Dialogue Act. We have reached out to the Maha Nayaka Theros and the Karaka Sangha Sabhas for their input on the proposed legislation. Undoubtedly, this is a challenging endeavour. However, there is a prevailing belief among the majority that it holds the potential to address various issues, particularly concerning monk discipline.

Furthermore, our ministry stands prepared to execute President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s vision of establishing Sri Lanka as the Theravada International Buddhist Centre.

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