Sri Lanka Urges Protection of Afghan Buddhist Heritage

“I request the United Nations and the international community to ensure the protection of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the global body’s annual summit.

Buddhism, the majority religion in Sri Lanka, once flourished in Afghanistan, symbolized by the towering Buddha statues carved on the cliffs of Bamiyan that survived for 1,500 years.

The Taliban in March 2001 spent weeks blowing up the statues with dynamite and artillery, defying international appeals out of religious fervor as they pointed to Islam’s ban on idolatry.