A case of abuse of the public property misuse law?

Nowadays there are court cases galore relating to misuse and abuse of public property. Recently a Bodhi Pooja was conducted at a well-known Buddhist temple in the Kalutara area purportedly to invoke blessings on the deposed strongman and the war heroes.

Incidentally, it is no secret to the people that there is bad blood between the political strongman in this area, a former Ministerial one, now a Deputy and the chief monk of the temple.

The Chief Monk had asked the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha in the area whether he could lend the Pradesdhiya Sabha’s four-wheel tractor to haul to the temple the power generator hired by him for use at the Bodhi Pooja ceremony.  Considering that the tractor asked for was meant for use in connection with a religious ceremony held in the area itself, the chairman readily agreed to release the tractor for the purpose.

However, Police lying in wait seized the tractor carrying the generator when it was on its way to the temple and a case was filed for using the tractor, a public property, for a private purpose.

When the case came up for hearing, the magistrate asked the prosecution counsel: “If we are to go by the same token, isn’t it an offence under the public property law to transport a monk in a Police jeep for a Dhamma sermon at a temple?” That question stumped the prosecution.
Now it is a well-known secret that the political strongman in the area was behind the case filed against the Pradeshiya Sabha chairman for lending the tractor for hauling the power generator.

Despite this incident, the Bodhi Pooja was conducted as planned. And the chief monk in his Punyanumodana sermon had invoked blessings on the politico who tried to sabotage the ceremony as well, they say.


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