Warrants re-issued on Kurunegala Mayor and four others

The Kurunegala Magistrate today re-issued warrants against the Kurunegala Mayor and four others over the demolition of a historical building in Kurunegala in July.

The Court re-issued the arrest warrants through the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) C. D. Wickremeratne and the Superintendent of Police of the Kurunegala Police Station.

The Kurunegala Magistrate had cited the failure of the Kurunegala Police to execute the warrants ordered to be issued last week on the suspects.

The Magistrate had also issued an order preventing the suspects from leaving the country.

The latest court order comes, after the Kurunegala Magistrate on last Friday (07) issued arrest warrants on the suspects based on an application submitted by Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera on the previous day.

The AG instructed Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickremeratne to obtain a warrant from Court, arrest and produce the Mayor of Kurunegala Thushara Sanjeeva Witharana, Municipal Commissioner Nishantha Thilakaratne, Municipal Engineer Chaminda Bandara Adikari, Acting Director for the removal of illegal constructions Ilaludeen Zulfika, and operator of the Bako machine used for the demolition Lakshman Priyantha.

The 13th Century King’s Court of King Bhuvanaikabahu II in Kurunegala, dating back to the Kurunegala / Yapahuwa Kingdom Era, was allegedly demolished on 18 July by the Mayor of Kurunegala and officials from the Urban Development Authority disregarding warnings by the Archaeology Department.

Following the demolition, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a 5 member expert committee, headed by Director-General of Archaeology Professor Senarath Dissanayake.

The preliminary report of the committee appointed to investigate the demolition was handed over to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 22 July, consisting of five proposals, including to institute legal action against those responsible for the demolition.

Thereafter, Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera obtained an order from the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court against the Deputy Mayor of Kurunegala, Municipal Councillors, Commissioner, and Municipal Council staff and their representatives to protect and prevent access to the site of the demolished building.

A writ application too was filed at the Court of Appeal seeking the arrest of the Mayor of Kurunegala over the demolition. (Colombo Gazette)