Photographer assaults security officer at Thapovanaya | Daily News


Photographer assaults security officer at Thapovanaya

Ven. Walawahengunawe Dhammarathana Thera
Ven. Walawahengunawe Dhammarathana Thera

A security officer of the Archaeology Department at the Mihintale Kaludiya Pokuna Thapovanaya was assaulted recently by a photographer. He attempted to enter the historic site along with a wedding entourage to capture photographs of the couple when the Security Officer opposed them.

Mihintale Rajamaha Viharadhipathi Ven. Walawahengunawe Dhammarathana Thera said a group of gangsters who were said to be henchmen of a former Central Province Minister and the Rambewa Urban Council Chairman now threaten him and Department Officers at the site in this regard.

The Thera said at a press briefing on July 13 a massive development scheme was underway at the sacred historic site under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa. Many officers and workers from the Department of Archaeology work now at the site day and night, the Thera said.

“People who need to take photographs or videos at this historic site have to get a written permission from the Director General of the Archaeological Department.

They have to inform the relevant officials beforehand. But this wedding group attempted to enter the site without a permit. When the security officer opposed them, he was attacked. Later they were said to have sought support from their political allies and now they try to harass us,” the Thera said.

The Thera said the security officer was now under treatment at the Anuradhapura Hospital. “A political henchman called me the other day and asked me to remove the complaint against the photographer and get the security officer under treatment discharged. I will not do that. The offenders should be punished,” the Thera said. 

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