AG seeks Police report on demolition

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Attorney General Dappula de Livera yesterday advised acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) to submit investigation reports on the demolition of the historic building in Kurunegala before July 31.

He said further investigations are necessary into the demolition of the historic building with archaeological value of Buwanekabahu II who ruled the Kingdom of Kurunegala.

Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told the media that the AG made this decision following discussions with Archeology Commissioner General Dr. Senarath Dissanayake, Kurunegala Superintendent of Police and officials of the National Building Research Organization and the Kurunegala Special Crime Investigation Division regarding the progress of investigations into the demolition of the king’s assembly hall.

Accordingly, the AG has advised the Acting IGP with a written 5-page document highlighting the importance of obtaining a court order and securing the crime scene. A court order should also be sought to call for an expert report from the Director General of Department of Archaeology and the National Building Research Organization.

In addition, the Acting IGP was advised to record statements from the Kurunegala Mayor, Municipal Councilors, several officials of the Kurunegala Municipal Council and Road Development Authority regarding the incident.

In Addition, the Acting IGP was advised to peruse the CCTV footage surrounding the crime scene and obtain necessary footage for the investigations.

Further, the AG pointed out that the Assistant Director of the Department of Archeology in May, 2020 had written to the Mayor of Kurunegala stating that the ancient kings assembly hall located at the site which is presently known as the ‘Buwaneka Hotel’ should be considered as a historic monument as per the provisions of the Antiquities Ordinance No. 09 of 1940.

Accordingly, the AG had advised the Acting IGP to record a comprehensive statement from the Kurunegala Mayor as how permission was obtained to demolish the king’s assembly hall at a time a request was made from the Department of Archeology to assist in protecting the site and to expedite the investigations and submit the investigations report before July 31.

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