Sri Lanka requested all Lankan missions including those in Islamic countries to appeal to Taliban representatives to prevent the destruction of the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar briefing diplomats in Colombo last week, outlined steps taken by the Government to prevent the destruction.
He instructed Sri Lanka’s envoys to India, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand to initiate consultations at the highest level in this regard.
Minister Kadirgamar said that Sri Lanka’s concern was not only because they were Buddhist monuments, but an integral part of the world heritage as well, which should be preserved for posterity.
The Minister recalled the previous threats of the Taliban to destroy the monuments and Sri Lanka’s efforts which had helped prevent their destruction.
Despite international anger, Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are reported to have begun demolishing the world famous Bamiyan Buddha statues using even explosives and mortars. Already several ancient statues are reported to have been destroyed at historic sites in Herat, Ghazni, Kabul and Nangarhar provinces since Thursday.
However, reports on Sunday said that there was no immediate way of independently confirming the fate of the two statues in Bamiyan. But reports from Kabul said that piece-by-piece demolition of the huge Buddha statues there was already underway.
Sri Lanka has already appealed to India, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand to initiate consultations at the highest level to protect the ancient Buddha statues, the tallest in the world.
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