Sources from the Archeological Department say the military is involved in forcibly acquiring lands belonging to ancient temples and places of religious worship in the East.
Sources observed that the Navy and Air Force are engaged in these illegal acquisitions and that they are carrying out illegal excavations for ancient treasures and other objects of historic value.
A group of armed forces personnel have last June forcibly acquired about 200 acres in the Panama area after chasing away the villagers. Ancient temples like Ulpatta Samudranaga Rajamaha Vihara, Ragamvala Sri Valukarama Vihara, Veheragala Rajamaha Vihara and Pinnaragala are located in this land area.
The chief priest for Wellassa and Digamadulla, the Most Venerable Panama Sri Chandaratanabhidana Thero has already received death threats asking him not to claim ownership of the ancient temple lands in the area.