Court instructs AG to withdraw case against Buddha Statue

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 July 2005, 10:11 GMT]
On the instrustion of Supreme Court Justice Sarath N Silva, Attorney General (AG) withdrew the case filed by him in the Trincomalee District Court last month seeking a declaration that the Buddha statue which was erected in the Trincomalee bus stand vicinity is illegal. Consequently Venerable Dehiowitta Piyatissa Thera, chief priest of the Chinabay Sri Bodhirajamaha Vihare withdrew the Fundamental Rights petition he filed against the AG. The AG also agreed to withdraw the letter instructing the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to take steps to remove the Buddha statue, legal sources said.

The AG did so on the instruction of the Chief Justice when the FR petition came before the bench comprised the three Justices including Mr.Nihal Jayasinghe and Mr.Nimal Gamini Amarathunge, legal sources said.

Counsel Mr.S.L.Gunasekara who appeared for the petitioner argued there are several unauthorized structures of statues and temples of other faiths in Trincomalee. The AG has filed action in the Trincomalee District Court only for the removal of the Buddha statue erected in the bus stand premises. Hence this violates the fundamental rights of the petitioner, legal sources said.

Mr.C.R.De Silva, Solicitor General appeared for the Attorney General submitted to court that the government has filed the case to reduce tension in the town following the erection of Buddha statue. He further submitted to court that the AG has also taken steps to remove other unauthorized religious structures in the Trincomalee, legal sources said.

However the Chief Justice instructed the AG to withdraw the case filed by him in the Trincomalee District Court as he has no authority to interfere in civil matters and to issue instruction to government agencies, legal sources said.

Thereafter the petitioner withdrew his FR petition, legal sources said.

The Prelate in his petition alleged that the AG had directed the UDA to take steps under Section 28 of the UDA Act to remove the Buddha statue. The AG had referred the statue as the bone of contention in the Trincomalee district.

The petitioner further stated the AG and his department had instituted a case in the Trincomalee District Court seeking the declaration that the statue was an illegal structure in order to have the statue removed on that basis.

The petitioner further said although there were around 17 illegally erected religious statues on State lands in Trincomalee out of which seven were Hindu Kovil, six churches or Christian statues, AG had directed UDA to remove only the Buddha statue.

The petitioner alleged the selective and discriminatory conduct was in violation of the Article 12 (1) and (2) of the Constitution. The removal of the statue would preach peace and cause irreparable loss and damage to the Buddhists in the area. The petitioner sought two interim reliefs: - A stay order preventing the removal of the statue by the UDA and to stay the proceedings in the Trincomalee District Court, legal sources said.


Latest 15 Reports
21.10.19 23:24  
SL Navy silently extends occupation of coastal lands at Kirimichchai in Batticaloa
20.10.19 23:58   Photo
Sinhala supporters of Gotabhaya encroach into pasturelands in Batticaloa
19.10.19 23:31  
Pentagon steps up maritime defence trade with India, UK seeks IOR opportunities
18.10.19 23:43   Photo
Monk backing Gotabhaya wants Tamil owners to stay away from their lands in interior Batticaloa
17.10.19 19:14   Photo
SL Police resorts to violence in grabbing lands of Tamil fishers in Batticaloa North
16.10.19 23:19   Photo
Chennai Connect and Eezham Tamils reminding Tamil Nadu to assert Tamil geopolitics
15.10.19 23:50  
Colombo destroys dairy-farming economy of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
Find this article at: