A news story from the Daily News Sri Lanka on the historic house ‘Sigiriya’ in Chilaw vandalized by treasure hunters.
Treasure hunters vandalize vintage ‘Sigiri Walawwa’
Christie Fernando – Chilaw special corr
Treasure hunters who gained entrance to the vintage ‘Sigiri Walawwa’ of the Corea family in Chilaw had vandalized and dug for hidden wealth and pilfered items from this age-old mansion believed to be about 175 years old.
Charles Corea, a close relative of the Corea family, has lodged a complaint at Chilaw Police station.
The mansion situated in the heart of Chilaw town, is close to the Chilaw Urban Council.
This was the venue which Mahatma Gandhi visited when he came to Sri Lanka in 1927 to attend a banquet hosted by the well-known ‘Coreas’ of yesteryear. ‘Sigiriya Walauwa’ belonged to the erstwhile Victor Corea’s sister and husband.
Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba had visited the Corea family in Chilaw in 1927. Erstwhile District Judge A. E. R. Corea was residing in this Walawwa at that time. It is a well-known fact that former Speaker Shirley Corea belonged to the same family of Coreas.
Mahatma Gandhi during his visit, presented a colour poster under the headline ‘Fighters for Swaraj’ that featured all national Heroes of India, each in oval shaped and bust sized photographs, to Victor Corea. His photograph too was included in the poster.
This was a glowing tribute to the campaign for freedom that stalwart Victor Corea initiated and recorded in the annals of history that was somewhat similar to the campaign Mahatma Gandhi conducted in India.