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01 December 2023

Buddhist monk rescues injured monkey; world heritage site vandalised

By Correspondent

COLOMBO: The Buddhist monk Gyalwang Drupka recently rescued an injured monkey who was found tied in chains near the ancient city of Sigiriya in the Matale district of Sri Lanka’s Central Province.

“It is important for us to take care of underprivileged beings like this and saving one life is equivalent to making offerings to 100 Buddhas,” the monk said.

The chain has been removed and the injured monkey is now under medical treatment.

Abandoned baby elephant saved

COLOMBO: A two-week old baby elephant, abandoned by her mother, was found roaming on the Mahaweli river bank near Muttur in Trincomalee district  by Sri Lankan security forces. The baby jumbo, who was badly in need of food and milk, was fed by security officials.

After some days, the baby elephant was handed over to the Kantale Elephant Nurturing Institute. The Forest Department will also help in rearing the baby elephant, the ‘Lankadeepa’ newspaper reported.

World heritage site vandalised

COLOMBO: Sigiriya gets its name from a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres high which was once the centre of the royal capital built by King Kasyapa (477– 495 AD).

Sigiriya today is a Unesco-listed world heritage site and the most popular historic place in Sri Lanka.

But a few days ago, some students from the Maskeliya hill station who came on a tour to Sigiriya did not seem to know the value of the heritage site.

The students, who were accompanied by their teachers, vandalised and totally disfigured the ‘Lion's Paw’ in Sigiriya. Three students, two male and a female, were arrested by the police later.
The students scribbled names using pieces of granite and bricks at the heritage site despite objections from some onlookers. No guards were present.

But a teacher in the group objected when someone tried to photograph the students damaging the heritage site.

The Director of Archaeology has said an inquiry will be held into this incident. According to an official of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs who had inspected the site, the damage can be partially repaired.

The Lion's Paw of Sigiriya was discovered in 1896 by a Britisher called Bell,  who was then the Commissioner of Archaeology.

It is believed that there was once a carving of a lion’s face at the site but which was ruined by a lightning strike.

Female figurines at the site were disfigured with tar in 1967.