Rishad’s side-kick Mudunabeen instigates Pottuvil people
By Ruwantha Nithul gaspitiya, Dhanushka Dilhani (Ampara) and Hashini Sachintha Induwari (Digamadulla)
Musharaf Mudunabeen, a candidate contesting the upcoming General Election from the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) led by former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, was allegedly behind the protests against surveying the lands belonging to the Muhudu Maha Viharaya in Pottuvil, Ceylon Today learns.
It was also learnt that Mudunabeen had apparently worked to forcibly distribute archaeological lands to people and to obstruct land surveying activities, with the assistance of organised groups, using Bathiudeen’s political powers.
A group of people including the said candidate clashed with the Police while obstructing the duties of public officials who went to the Muhudu Maha Viharaya premises to conduct land surveying activities there.When a Police officer who was present there attempted to explain and control the situation, the said election candidate had reportedly acted in a very aggressive manner, our reporter said.
During the altercation, the Police officer had requested Mudunabeen to leave the place without continuing to obstruct the duties of public officials who were trying to survey the lands of archaeological importance. The candidate, however, declined to cooperate.
Our reporter also said the above-mentioned group, including the said candidate, after protesting in front of the Pottuvil Divisional Secretariat, had gone on to enter the Secretariat premises violently. The group didn’t comply with health guidelines issued for the prevention of COVID-19 including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. Although the Police team kept on asking this group to leave the place, they refused to do so. After President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa issued instructions, Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne recently visited the Muhudu Maha Viharaya. Later, surveying activities began. Several times, the said candidate had tried to incite the people to clash with the Police and stop the land surveying activities.
Muhudu Maha Viharaya Chief Incumbent Ven. Wanarakapola Indasara Thera said that lands belonging to the temple had been given to 39 people. The Thera added that those living on these lands will not be expelled but archaeological excavations will be commenced. He stressed that people should act more patiently.
A top official from the Eastern Province said the land surveying activities have been completed and that necessary legal actions will be taken should the said candidate attempt to create problems in the area again.
Meanwhile, Sinhala Ravaya Chairman Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thera said that groups trying to forcibly occupy an archaeological property or encourage such an act should be arrested and prosecuted. The Thera made this statement speaking to the Media about the above-mentioned protests. He also emphasised the President has taken a direct decision to reclaim the lands belonging to the Muhudu Maha Viharaya.
Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, after visiting the Criminal Investigation Department on Saturday (20) to give a statement, told the Media that conducting land surveying activities in areas where people have been living for years is confusing the people. He added that such surveys should be carried out after giving people an explanation.