He said that a police investigation was underway into an alleged break-in at the museum.
Minister Balasuriya said so participating in the committee stage debate on the 13th allocated day for the third reading of the appropriation bill 2015.
Minister Balasuriya said that CCTV cameras of the museum had been removed due to ongoing renovation work. The museum was being renovated at a cost of Rs 100 million.
Expenditure heads of the Ministries of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, Postal Services, National Languages and Social Integration, Private Transport Services, Public Relations and Public Affairs, Public Management Reforms, National Heritage, Technology Research, Telecommunication and Information Technology and Culture and the Arts were taken for debate today.
Minister Balasuriya said that the archaeological reservations have been declared on a scientific basis. “No archaeological site had been declared on the racial or religious basis. It is a duty of all citizens to protect national heritage. There are around 250,000 sites of archaeological importance in the country. It is no easy task to safeguard all the sites owing to practical difficulties,” he said.
The number of tourists visiting the heritage sites was increasing, the minister said. (Special Reporter/HC)