MP laments trade of Hindu statues
[TamilNet, Friday, 24 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
"There has been a trend in recent years to rob metal statues and religious icons from Hindu temples to be sold and smuggled overseas. There has to be vigilance to prevent this," said P.P.Devaraj, MP (United National Party - Colombo District) in Parliament yesterday.
He said that this racket has been going on for the past 15 years because statues fetched fabulous sums in the western world.
Despite complains about an attempt to dismantle a statue from a temple in Pitakotte, near Colombo, for its metal, no action was taken about it, the MP said.
He requested that a complete list of archeological artifacts in the country be compiled in the same way Professor Sittampalam of the University of Jaffna had compiled a list of the artifacts in the temples in Jaffna.