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Historical site in Kurunegala: Litigation threatened against MC members

2 years ago

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By Sarah Hannan
Kurunegala Municipal Council (MC) members had voted to pass the necessary administrative and legal fees that were required for the legal hearings against the demolition of the archaeological site in Kurunegala, with only two MC members opposing the decision. “Out of the Rs. 4.43 million that is required to be paid as administrative and legal fees, the Kurunegala MC approved Rs. 2.1 million following the meeting held yesterday (17). Only two council members opposed the decision – one from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the other from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP),” JVP politburo Namal Karunaratne told The Morning. Karunaratne noted that from the Rs. 2.1 million approved and passed yesterday as administrative fees, a part payment had already been made via the North Western Province Governor’s office to the two fact-finding committees that were appointed. He elaborated that the breakdown of the grand total of Rs. 4.43 million is allocated into four components – namely, the committee appointed by the Prime Minister to investigate the matter, another committee appointed by the Attorney General’s (AG) Department for legal counsel for the incident, legal counselling fees for the ongoing case heard at courts in Kurunegala for demolishing an archaeological site, and for the legal counsel the Mayor seeks for the petition heard at the Court of Appeal. “The Kurunegala Municipal Commissioner personally informed me that he did not sign off the budget request to allocate funds for a legal case that is filed against the Mayor. This is an illegal attempt made by (Mayor of Kurunegala) Thushara Sanjeewa Witharana, and the Council has no right to use public funds to pay for a personal case as this,” Karunaratne explained. He pointed out that this is a total misuse of position and power which the accused Mayor is exercising and misappropriation of public funds for a personal litigation he is being charged for.