T.Virushan S. Thavaseelan and Sivam Packyanathan
Over 2,000 protestors yesterday demonstrated in Mullaitivu against an alleged attack on two lawyers in relation to the controversy surrounding the cremation of the remains of Mullaitivu Gurukanda Purana Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent, Ven.Colomba Medhalankarakitti Thera.
The demonstrators demanded legal action against the performance of last rites of the Chief Incumbent within the temple premises in violation of a court ruling and also action against the physical assault on two lawyers.
The demonstrators demanded that the Attorney General to take legal action within three days against all those who are involved in the incident including Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gananasara Thera, General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) who was heavily involved in the controversial incident along with another Buddhist monk who had openly protested against the court order on the cremation of the Chief Incumbent.
The demonstrators urged the Inspector General to take action against those who are involved in the said incident, pointing out that the violation of the court ruling is an action that constitutes Contempt of Court.
Unless the responsible authorities take swift action against these violations, the demonstrations are to continue until September 27, Friday, the protestors warned.The protestors demand the Attorney General to assure them in writing that he will seek legal action against Gnanasara thera and all others who are involved in defying the respective court ruling.
The protestors included lawyers, civil society activists and people of Mullaitivu area. All the lawyers of Northern and Eastern provinces led by Batticaloa Bar Association President K.Narayanapillai boycotted court duties in a black arm band protest outside the Battocaloa court premises. The Mullaitivu Trade Association closed shops and carried out a hartal in support of the demonstration. The protestors, who displayed placards against the violators, burnt an image of Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven.Gnanasara thera during the protest.
The protestors who were extremely critical of Gnanasara Thera’s involvement in the matter, questioned if the country has a separate law for Buddhist monks. They also claimed that lawyers had never been physically assaulted before for appearing on behalf of any party involved in a legal matter.
The demonstrators, who marched from Mullaitivu Divisional Secretariat to Mullaitivu District Secretariat, handed over a memorandum to the District Secretary to be forwarded to the UN envoy in Sri Lanka. Former Chief Minister of Northern Province C.V. Vigneshwaran, Sivasakthy Ananthan, Suresh Premachandran, and other local politicians participated in the demonstration.