Prleate welcomes moves to take Dambulu Vihara off UNESCO list?
Reported moves to remove the Rangiri Dambulla Vihara (Golden Temple) from UNESCO's World Heritage list have been welcomed by Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Rangiri Dambulla chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya.

The prelate is of the view that the Rangiri Vihara which has existed for more than 2000 years, is in reality a Buddhist heritage and not a World Heritage Site.

The prelate further states that the inclusion of the Rangiri Vihara in the World Heritage list was a tactic of the modern colonialists. He alleges that while the World Bank and IMF control Third World countries through the implementation of modern colonial policies, UNESCO is attempting to get its hands on the world's cultural and religious sites.

He goes on to ask the relevance of being included in such a list by giving the example of the Bamiyan Buddha statues which were in the UNESCO heritage list. The prelate questions as to what action UNESCO took to protect them ultimately from the attacks of the Taliban. The prelate proudly recalls that the Rangiri Vihara was a location in which leadership was given to the freedom struggle in 1848 against British rule.

A new Mahayana Buddhism-style pagoda was constructed at the Vihara in violtion of UNESCO rules on World Heritage sites.

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