Court issues interim injunction preventing arrest of Kurunegala Mayor

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Court of Appeal today issued an interim injunction preventing the execution of the arrest warrants issued on the Mayor of Kurunegala and four others over the demolition of a historical building in Kurunegala in July.

The Court also ordered that the warrants issued by the Kurunegala Magistrate Court cannot be implemented until the hearing of the petition filed over the incident is concluded.

Earlier this month, the Court ordered not to arrest the five suspects, while yesterday it extended the stay order issued against arresting them.

The Kurunegala Magistrate had earlier re-issued warrants against the suspects over the demolition of the historical building citing the failure of the Kurunegala Police to execute the warrants.

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera had instructed Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickremeratne to obtain a warrant from Court, arrest and produce the Mayor of Kurunegala Thushara Sanjeeva Witharana, Municipal Commissioner Nishantha Thilakaratne, Municipal Engineer Chaminda Bandara Adikari, Acting Director for the removal of illegal constructions Ilaludeen Zulfika, and operator of the Bako machine used for the demolition Lakshman Priyantha.

The 13th Century King’s Court of King Bhuvanaikabahu II in Kurunegala, dating back to the Kurunegala / Yapahuwa Kingdom Era, was allegedly demolished on 18 July by the Mayor of Kurunegala and officials from the Urban Development Authority disregarding warnings by the Archaeology Department.

The preliminary report of the committee appointed to investigate the demolition was handed over to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 22 July, consisting of five proposals, including to institute legal action against those responsible for the demolition.

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