Attorney General files plaint in Buddha statue case

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 June 2005, 00:05 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Attorney General (AG) Tuesday filed plaint seeking the Trincomalee District Court Judge Mr.S.Thiagendran to declare the construction of the Buddha statue on the State land as unlawful and to issue enjoining order preventing the accused party from making further improvement, alteration and building any new additions in the disputed land till the matter is resolved by the court, legal sources said.

Ms Dilrukshi Wickremasinghe, Senior State Counsel with two other State Counsels Mr.Dilip Nawas and Mr.Wickrema Abrew who arrived from Colombo and with Attorney-at-Law Ms Subashini Chitravelu of Trincomalee filed the plaint on behalf of the Attorney General Tuesday morning in the District Court of Trincomalee, legal sources said.

Mr.Keerthi Jayalal, Secretary of the Three Wheelers' Association, was cited as the respondent in the case filed by the AG.

The Attorney General through his plaint sought the court to declare the erection of Buddha statue on that land is unlawful as the land where the controversial Buddha statue stands is a State property and the Trincomalee Urban Council (UC) is currently in possession.

AG prayed in his plaint that till the matter is inquired and finalized the Court should issue an enjoining order preventing the respondent or his agents from effecting improvement, alteration or constructing new structures, legal sources said.

Mr.S.Thiagendran, after hearing the submission of the State Council, issued the enjoining order restraining the respondent the Secretary of the Trincomalee Three Wheelers Association or his agents from making alterations to the controversial Buddhist statue until the inquiry into the case filed by the Attorney General is complete and orders made by the Trincomalee Magistrate on May 18 and May 25 in this regard are carried out, legal sources said.

The District Judge further instructed to serve the enjoining order on the respondent and to issue notice on the respondent to appear in court on June 13 when the case is to be taken up further inquiry, legal sources said

The controversial Buddha statue was erected during the night of May 15 on the land, which is located close to the Trincomalee central bus stand, and also being used to park three wheelers. Since then the east port town witnessed a weeklong general shut down and violence killing a person and injuring several. More than 1500 government troops and policemen are currently deployed in the town to prevent eruption of fresh violence since then, sources said

At a conference held on May 25 at the Trincomalee office of the North East Provincial Governor by the special ministerial committee sent by the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge to find a solution to the Buddha statue controversy, it was decided to make available legal advice of the AG to the Trincomalee Urban Council in this regard. As a follow-up, another conference was held in the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo where the Attorney General, and the Special Commissioner of the Trincomalee Urban Council participated, sources said.

 

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