Thursday, September 25, 2008
treasure treasure everywhere
It seems I am never short of something to write about despite spending most of my time on my own or with those who receive a pay packet from me.
Here in the Polonnaruwa district, the word ‘nidhana’ is used everywhere, so much so I wanted to name a dog “Nidhahan”. The word means, artifacts of value and can also include antiques, but usually means gold statues and highly valuable items worth millions. I have yet to see even one of these though I have been offered items worth millions for pennies all peoples talk. I have of course not even wanted to see them before making an offer for fear of being taken on a ruse as I have no idea of telling the difference between real and fake and even a gold colored thing from pure gold.
If you talk to villagers they will reel the names of local and national politicians habitually in the business of acquiring such and then taking them overseas to sell them at enormous profit, as only they can smuggle with impunity. If any of this is true it is frightening that our people of stature are involved in this highly lucrative trade in international antiquity smuggling.
People claim some holes in my property is as a result of the excavation of antiquities and there is more to be unearthed here. Further it is stated that there are valuable antiquities in the property I am about to acquire for my sister and a lot of people are eyeing this find! I don’t believe a word of it.
Apparently some top brass in the army and the police have been caught in the act of excavation recently and now the site is in the control of the department of archeology who under the guise of security are involved in the wholesale excavation and smuggling through these higher ups all the valuables of Sri Lanka out of the country. It frightens me that this theory is so pervasive as to be accepted as common fact by anyone in the area you talk to and I have yet to see even an item of what they refer to.
We are a nation of great exaggerators and expanders of the truth until it becomes totally farfetched. I grapple with this concept ‘there cant be smoke without fire’ and feel there is some truth in the belief but the fact of the level of value in this illegal activity is grossly exaggerated.
This, further highlights the issue of the rich are above the law and the poor face the wrath if they are caught with anything they should not have.