Colombo: Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit cricket stadium at Galle was once again embroiled in a heritage row Sunday as it prepared to host the third and final Test against England next week.
The new pavilion at the picturesque Galle International Stadium must be demolished after the match which begins on Dec 18, a press report quoted Urban Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena as saying.
"I got cabinet approval to demolish the building once the Test match is over," the minister told the Colombo-based Sunday Times newspaper, as its new construction was not in line with heritage guidelines.
Galle's nearby 17th century Dutch Fort is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and highly protected by the authorities with any new construction within 500 metres considered a violation of the country's antiquities ordinance.
Jayananda Warnaweera, the curator overseeing the reconstruction of the stadium, said all arrangements were in place to host the third Test from Dec 18.
"There is no wrongdoing on our part," Warnaweera told AFP. "We have not violated the law with our restoration work."
The stadium was devastated by the Dec 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed an estimated 31,000 people in Sri Lanka.
Galle has been a happy hunting ground for Sri Lanka with six wins in 11 Tests at the stadium.