An attempt made to cut down a Bo tree on the Rajagiriya – Gotatuwa road triggered an uproar recently.
The wayside Bo tree was found to be an obstacle to the road widening project launched by the local body in the area and the Chairman, keen on the project told the engineer in charge to remove the tree.
The Buddhists in the area believing in the sanctity of Bo trees, had put up a shrine there and they reacted with anger to the news that the tree sacred to them was to be cut down. They made representations and staged protests against the proposed ‘act of sacrilege’. But the Chairman turned a deaf ear to their outcry.
Later the Buddhist devotees sought the intervention of provincial member Mariks, who lost no time in representing matters to the authorities at the Ministerial level at the centre.
And the authorities had soon after sent a missive to the Chairman countermanding his decision to cut down the Bo tree. The concerned devotees had greeted the news that the threat to the tree was no more with collective cries of ‘Sadhu’, they say.
What is news to the people in general in the area is that two Muslims had intervened to save the Bo tree, whereas the Chairman who ordered the removal of the tree is a Buddhist!