SRI LANKA Colombo wants to get back the coats of arms looted in the riot against Rajapaksa

One year after the revolt that led to the fall of the former president, accused of corruption, his successor Wickremesinghe has decreed an amnesty for those who return the stolen goods from the head of state’s palace within a month. Coats of arms of former rulers, which have historical value, are sought above all.

Colombo () – One year after the revolt that led to the fall of the then president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka wants to recover the historical treasures looted by the mob in the presidential palace. On Sunday 9 July – just as Colombo’s civil society was celebrating the anniversary of tens of thousands of people’s struggle against a government they viewed as corrupt – current President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced an amnesty for those who return the items. stolen within a month.

“Several valuable artifacts and archaeological artifacts, including some coats of arms of former Sri Lankan rulers and presidents, have gone missing,” the office of Rajapaksa’s successor said in a statement. They were stolen during the five days of occupation of the palace that is located in the heart of the capital, Colombo, symbol of the authority of the State for more than 200 years. Along with the announcement, the government published images of five coats of arms, including that of Jorge de Albuquerque, the seventh Portuguese governor appointed in 1622 to administer the island, and other emblems that belonged to governors of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Secretariat of the Presidency indicated that, after that period, the possession of these official insignia will entail legal consequences, because the illegitimate possession of State assets is a punishable offense. He also released a contact telephone number, explaining that the help of the population is essential to locate these shields, of significant national importance.

For their part, the activists of Aragalaya (the protest that led to the fall of Rajapaksa) recalled that they had handed over to the police about $6,000 in cash that was found in the former president’s bedroom. And that a court asked the former president to explain how he had won them.

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