BY Mirudhula Thambiah
Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda yesterday (1) met parties connected to the Kurunthoor Malai temple in Mullaitivu and the Vedukkunari Malai temple in Vavuniya, both in the Northern Province, and assured that a positive and amicable settlement will be reached regarding longstanding temple-related issues.
Speaking to The Morning, Devananda yesterday said that he had met the parties involved in both the Kurunthoor Malai and Vedukkunari Malai temples and assured that the longstanding issues relating to their places of worship will be met with a positive settlement.
“It will be a positive settlement to all the parties. We will settle these issues just like how the Thiru Koneswaram temple issue was resolved. There are some parties who want to settle the issue in a positive manner, while there are some who don’t want to resolve it, but want to keep dragging it on. We will not give space to the latter. We will resolve the issue amicably,” he added.
Accordingly, during the meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on reconciliation held on 25 October, it was decided that Devananda and Minister of Justice President’s Counsel (PC) Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe would visit Kurunthoor Malai and Vedukkunari Malai yesterday to resolve such issues in the area. During this meeting, Devananda had submitted a proposal highlighting land-related issues, the activities of the Department of Archaeology, natural reserves, the Mahaweli L Zone, missing persons, detainees, the pardoning of all Tamil political prisoners through a method similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, the implementation of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution on administrative languages, maintaining the ethnic proportionality in the security forces, and forming a separate ministry for the North.
The Cabinet of Ministers on 17 October approved the proposal presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to establish the said Cabinet Sub-Committee on Reconciliation chaired by the President to promote reconciliation between the various sections of the population and to propose solutions to the problems faced by the people regarding resettlement, lands, and missing persons after the conflict in the North and the East. This Sub-Committee also comprises Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Devananda, Dr. Rajapakshe, and Minister of Foreign Affairs M.U.M. Ali Sabry PC.