COLOMBO: More than 1,000 valuable artifacts, including vintage and antique valuables, are believed to have disappeared from Presidential Palace of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister’s official residence at Temple Trees here after angry anti-government protesters occupied the premises earlier this month, police said on Saturday.
On July 9, anti-government protesters occupied the residences of the former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe after storming into their premises and burning down one of the buildings in protest at the government’s handling of the unprecedented economic crisis.
Based on initial investigations, at least 1,000 valuables, including rare ones, have disappeared from the presidential palace as well as the prime minister’s official residence, the Colombo Page web portal said citing law enforcement sources.
Special investigation teams have been formed to begin an investigation, he added.
Adding to the agony of investigators is that the Sri Lankan Department of Archeology does not have a detailed record of the antiquities and various artifacts of the presidential palace, even though it has been listed as a site of archaeological significance, according to the report. .
A senior official from the Department of Archeology told the Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper that it would be difficult to get precise and clear information on the exact number of antiquities that have disappeared, although police believe it could be much higher at 1000.
Newly elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe said he respected the right of protesters to peacefully undertake their protests, but said he would not allow the occupation of any other government building such as the presidential palace or the private residence of the President. Prime Minister. Wickremesinghe said he had authorized the Sri Lankan armed forces and police to take all necessary measures to prevent people from storming public facilities and obstructing Parliament.
“Do not prevent parliamentarians and parliament from doing their duty,” he said this week.
In a raid at dawn on Friday, Sri Lankan security forces attacked a site of anti-government protesters in Galle Face, where several government offices are located, injuring at least nine people.

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