Chief Incumbent of the ancient Abhayagiriya Temple – Ven. Kalanchiye Rathanasiri Thera has continued an unlawful construction which compromises the antiquity of the temple, reports say.
Although the Thera had earlier promised several concerned parties that the construction would be stopped, he had gone back on his word after receiving the backing of an influential political might, reports say.
The construction was done under the guise of permission received from the Archaeological Department to build a gate to prevent stray dogs from entering the premises.
Former Director General of Archeology, Dr. Senarath Bandara Dissanayake, who had initially revealed information regarding this unauthorized construction, had pointed out that no one can carry out an unauthorized construction on an archeological site without the permission of the Archaeological Department.
It is a serious, non-bailable offense under Section 15 d of the Antiquities Ordinance No. 24 of 1988, he added.
Dr. Bandara had pointed out this had also led to a risk of Abhayagiriya being removed from the World Heritage List.