The remains of Mullaitivu Gurukanda Purana Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent, Ven. Colombo Medhalankarakiththi Thera were cremated within the temple premises owing to a delay in receiving the court order.
Speaking to the media, Gurukanda Dayaka Sabha Secretary Manel Karunaratne said Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya took this decision having considered the delay in receiving the court order.
Appearing on behalf of Gurukanda Vihara, Senior Attorney Rohana Talpawila said in the face of strong opposition to the court order by complainants, Nayaru Pradeshiya Sabha and the Hindu Kovil Society, Mullaitivu Magistrate S. Lenin decreed that in accordance with Buddhist tradition and in application of Article 3 of the Constitution, the cremation be held in Nayaru beach in close proximity to the temple.
However, due to the delay in the court ruling and receiving applicable orders, together with the onset of heavy rainfall, last rites have been performed. The delay also posed an issue on the condition of remains. Therefore, the Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya took the decision to conduct the cremation at one end of the temple compound as stated by the Dayaka Sabha.
A group of lawyers and members of the Hindu Kovil Society had intruded upon the site where the cremation was taking place and made a strong protest and when police arrived at the scene, they were able to quell the situation.
Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera who also arrived at the site announced that the cremation should be held within the temple premises and since last rites had been completed, a decision was taken to have the cremation in the temple premises.
Gnanasara Thera said if there had been a government, then this issue would not have surfaced. “There should be one law in the country and when it becomes ineffective, people take the law into their hands,” the Thera said.
The Hindu Kovil Society and a group of residents voiced their protest. “At a time when a court order from Mullaitivu was pending, taking a step of this nature forces legal action in due course,” they said.