Minister of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development, Vocational Training and Hill Country Heritage Dr. Sarath Amunugama summoned the relevant senior officials to his ministry at Sethsiripaya and asked them to consider the preservation of ancient temple murals in the hill country as an urgent and national need. He gave them necessary directions regarding that task.
In addition to the Additional Director General of the Department of Archaeology and Assistant Directors of that department who attended this meeting, the Director General of Archives and senior officials of the Department of National Museums were present at this meeting to participate in the discussion of other aspects of the hill country heritage. Officials of the Hill Country Heritage division of the Ministry were also present.
The Minister pointed out that many ancient murals in the hill country region which relates to his ministerial mandate are facing the threat of extinction and that it was therefore an urgent national duty to take systematic action to preserve them for the future generations, as they have become part of even the world heritage. He said the Department of Archaeology must work in unison with the Hill Country Division of his Ministry towards this end. He said all relevant officials must work with enthusiasm and without delay to achieve this national objective.
The Minister directed the officials to submit to him immediately reports on temple murals in the hill country, in the Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya districts, that have already undergone preservation work and those that are scheduled to undergo such attention. The Minister also directed the officials to ensure that no unreasonable bureaucratic impediments are placed on the authorities of temples where preservation work has already been implemented, to attend to urgent structural repairs like roof leaks.
The Minister also directed that the necessary material be collected for publishing a bibliography on books, articles and other research publications that have been written locally and abroad in regard to these murals.
The Minister assured the officials that he will secure the funds necessary for all this work and he will also take action to resolve any other problems encountered.