Magistrate re-remands former Buddhist monk

Alleged fraud at Sri Pada
By L.B. Senaratne

Kandy’s Additional Magistrate Channa Saliya Abeyratne has issued notice on Ven. Dhampala Seelananda Thera, the former Trustee of Sri Pada, and two others, ordering them to be present in court on Wednesday when the case on an alleged fraud of Rs. 2.3 million in the construction of a glass covering for the dagaba at Sri Pada is taken up.

Attorney Supun Ratnayake appearing for the complainant submitted the former trustee had not been produced before court, despite a court direction. In this case, a former monk and two others including a woman were taken into custody.

The former monk, Rohan Dissanayake, was remanded while the other two obtained bail.
In this case Venerable Panditha Kollanawe Shri Shanthi Vijaya Thera — President of the Purana Samanagiri Surakeemaya Eksath Sanvidana of Sabragamuwa Province (The orgnanisation for the protection of Samanagiri or Sri Pada) complained that the former monke had been collecting funds from the public for the construction of a covering over the Dagaba at Sri Pada.

The thera complained that the suspect had said the glass for the construction would be brought from Malaysia, not a single piece of glass wa bought for this purpose.

He added that neithr the trustees nor the Buddhist Affairs Department authorised the collection of the funds. Neither was approval sought from the Archaeology Department or any other authority for the construction.

Police investigations revealed Rs. 2.3 million was collected and the money had been deposited in two banks accounts – one operated from Colombo and the other from Kandy. Of this sum, Rs. 300,000 had been withdrawn and no proper accounts had been maintained, maintained, the police told court.

When submissions were made, Court inquired from the police whether the name of the then trustees of Sri Pada had been cited in the complainant, he said their names had been mentioned in the complaint.
The Additional Magistrate then ruled that they be summoned before court for questioning.

Attorney at law Supun Ratnayake instructed by attorney at law A,M,B. Handapangoda, together with the police appeared for the complainant. Investigations were conducted by Chief Inspector Atulathmudali on the instructions of SSP H,N.B. Arambewela.

Siri Pada election: Kandy lawyers to lodge protest

By L.B.Senaratne

Members of the Kandy Bar Association will hold a meeting tomorrow to protest against the alleged threat to two of its Ratnapura members.

The letter sent to the Secretary of the Bar Association alleged that on the day of the election of the Sri Pada Tusteeship the two lawyers who were looking into the interests of a member of the Sangha who was contesting, were not allowed into the election hall and were manhandled by a politician and his henchmen. The meeting will be held at the library of the Kandy Court complex.

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