Sandalwood Bed For MR To Ward Off Evil
By Nirmala Kannangara
A sandalwood tree which was said to be over 50 years old and nearly 30 feet in height with three feet circumference has been cut and removed by an unidentified group from BARC a few weeks ago, reliable sources from BARC told The Sunday Leader.
According to the sources, the sandalwood tree had been cut during a weekend and removed secretly.
“It is said that this tree has been cut down with other invaluable trees and many have been removed with those logs,” added the sources.
Interestingly, the security post at the BARC when contacted by The Sunday Leader said that they were not aware of who felled the tree and as to when it was removed.
“We didn’t know anything about how this tree was cut down and removed,” they said.
However, the sources said that there is a rumour that the sandalwood tree has been sent to the State Timber Corporation to make a bed for President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“It was said that President Rajapaksa has been advised to sleep in a bed made out of sandalwood to get rid of malefic planetary impact. This was the first time that a valuable tree has been cut down within the BARC premises,” the sources added.
However, when contacted, the Commissioner, Department of Indigenous Medicine Palitha Weerakoon told The Sunday Leader that it was a mystery as to how this tree was cut and removed without the BARC knowledge.
“When this was reported, we lodged a complaint at the Mirihana police. The Mirihana police is conducting investigations,” said Weerakoon.
According to Weerakoon, the sandalwood tree was closer to the boundary wall and he believes that the logs had been removed over the parapet wall.
Meanwhile the Botany Section of the BARC told The Sunday Leader that although there was a security post closer to the area where the sandalwood tree was, the security guard had neither heard the tree falling nor heard it being chopped for removal.
According to the Botany Section, the tree had been cut down with an electric saw.
“They have removed all the matured logs leaving the tender branches aside. There is also a hostel close to this area and none of the inmates had heard any noise either,” they said.
When asked what the value of this tree was, the sources said that one sandalwood kilogram costs Rs.2,700 in the market.
“These logs could have weighed around 2000 kg and the value would be around Rs. 5 million,” added the sources.