By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Supreme Court this week re-fixed 5 October for support on granting of leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed in a bid to re-open the portion of the A 26 road (part of which passes along the Kandy Dalada Maligawa).
The matter came up before the Bench comprising Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Lalith Dehideniya and Murdu N.B. Fernando.
J.C. Weliamuna PC appeared for the petitioners in the main petition namely K. Mudiyanselage Keerthi, H.M. Dayananda, J.M. Mahinda and R. Chandrarathne. They cited Road Development Authority, IGP, Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella, Attorney General and others as Respondents.
Buddhist monks and laymen who intervened to resist the rights petition are Sri Dalada Maligawa Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, Ven. Anamaduve Sri Dhammadassi Anunayake, Ven. Vendaruve Sri Upali Anunayake Thero,Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thero, Narampanave Ananda Thero, Ven. Muruddeniye Dhammarathana Thero, Ven. Kahawaththe Saranankara Thero, Members of Asgiri and Malwathu Karaka Sanga Sabhas, Sri Vishnu Mahaa Devalaya Basnayake Nilame Mahindra Ratwatte in one intervenient petition.
Sanjeeva Jayawardane PC with Charitha Rupasinghe and Asoka Niwunhella appeared for Diyawadana Nilame and Asgiriya as well as Asgiriya Chapter, Vishnu Maha Devalaya and Kandy City Centre. Romesh de Silva PC appeared for Sri Pushpadana Society and Sinhala Eksath Sangamaya.
Nihal Jayamanne PC appeared for Kandy YMBA and Kandy Buddhist Association. Romesh de Silva PC appeared for Manohara de Silva PC appeared for Basnayake Nilames of Pitissara Devalayas. Rohan Sahabandu PC appeared for Basnayake Nilame of Pathini Devalaya. Faisz Musthapha PC appeared for Kandy Tamil Traders’ Association and Nuwara Sinhala Velantha Samithiya.
Petitioners claim that they are individually and jointly and actively engaged in the efforts to bring the said A 26 Road back to full and free public use as a portion of it has been restricted for public use causing intense pain and suffering to them, the residents of Kandy due to the massive traffic.
Chrishmal Warnasuriya appeared for the intervenient petitioners Mihimadale Mithuro and Mahanuwara Parisara Saha Saukya Surakime Sanvidanaya who support the petition. Jagath Wickremanayake appeared for another intervenient who also support the Petition.
They state that they are concerned and affected by the health issues, environmental pollution and economic detriments caused as a direct result of the said restriction.
They state the said Road approximately 600 meter stretch of the A 26 Road passes along the southern boundary of the Dalada Maligawa and the relevant intersection has been the only gateway for three main Roads (A 1, A 9 and A 26) which connects a number of provinces and this Road is used by approximately over 10,000 vehicles a day.
They state the said stretch of A 26 (Kandy – Mahiyangana – Padiyatalawa Road) continued to be a vital intersection continued to be vital part of the day to day travel of the residents of Kandy until its closure in 1998 following the terrorist attack on 25 January 1998.
They claim that the terrorist attack was not carried out using the said stretch but the Raja Veediya which is not closed to date.