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Sri Lanka’s archaeology department acquires ‘ancient monastery site’ in Jaffna

Sri Lanka’s archaeology department has issued a gazette acquiring an acre of land in Neduntheevu (Delft island) in Jaffna, claiming that it contains a ruined Buddhist monastery complex.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, the land was declared an “archaeological reserve” under the Antiquities Ordinance Act.

The latest move comes as Sri Lanka’s archaeology department continues in its attempts to seize land across the North-East, under the guise of discovering Sinhala Buddhist heritage sites.

Last week, Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered the distribution of over 700 Buddha statues across the island and spoke out on the importance of preserving “our Buddhist and national heritage”. Since coming to power he has also  appointed an all-Sinhala task force on archaeology for the Eastern province, which is being overseen by the military, has come under widespread criticism from Tamils.

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