Sri Lanka: HRC official in Vavuniya complains of death threats

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - Human Rights Commission official in Vavuniya receives letter accusing him of failing to take action regarding a Buddhist monk residing in a compound that also houses a kovil, despite a large number of complaints having been lodged with the Commission.

An investigations officer attached to the Human Rights Commission in Vavuniya, Rohitha Priyadharshana lodged a complaint with the Vavuniya Police yesterday that he had received death threats.

Priyadharshana has received a letter accusing him of not taking any action regarding the kovil in Gurukanda although a large number of people had lodged complaints with the Commission.

The person who had written the letter has accused Priyadharshana of allowing a Buddhist monk to reside in the compound that also housed the kovil. Because of Priyadharshana’s inaction a number of issues have arisen, the letter states. He told the Police that the Commission had no power to determine the ownership of a land that was under the Archeology Department.

Both Buddhists and Hindus claim the ownership of the site, where the Buddhist temple is located at Gurukanda. Throughout 2019, associates of regional Tamil politicians have attempted to disrupt the activities of the Buddhist temple there. Director General of Archeology A. B. Mandawela, during evidence before the Mullaitivu Magistrate’s Court on February 2019, said that the Gurukanda Raja Maha Viharaya in Nayaru, had a history of over 2,000 years with many Buddhist artifacts and an ancient monastery. The Commissioner of Archeology told the Magistrate it was against the law to build a Hindu place of worship in a place where there was an ancient Buddhist temple.

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