Wennappuwa PS Chairman summoned before court | Daily News
SLPP attempts to ‘ban’ Muslim traders from Dankotuwa Pola:

Wennappuwa PS Chairman summoned before court

The Marawila Magistrates’ Court yesterday ordered the Chairman of the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha to appear before Court on Friday (28) over a written request made by him asking the police to temporarily ban Muslim merchants from taking part Dankotuwa Sathi Pola (weekly fair). The Magistrates’ Court issued the order after the Dankotuwa Police acted swiftly to avert communal tensions caused by the SLPP-controlled Pradeshiya Sabha’s move to exclude traders of one community.

According to Police, Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman K.V. Susantha Perera had given a letter to the OIC of Dankotuwa Police Station, Thilina Hettiarachchi, asking him to temporarily ban the Muslim traders at Dankotuwa weekly fair. The PS Chcairman’s letter went viral on social media.

Police sources told the Daily News that OIC Thilina Hettiarachchi and officers of the Dankotuwa Police, on advice by higher officers, has gone to the Courts to seek judicial guidance on this sensitive matter.

Asked about the letter Wennappuwa PS Chairman Susantha Perera admitted that he had given such a letter of request to the Dankotuwa Police.

“I asked them to temporarily remove Muslim traders from taking part in the Dankotuwa weekly fair in order to prevent possible escalation of clashes in the area, so as to prevent a bigger crisis,” he claimed. “I made this request in response to various public complaints and concerns communicated to me verbally as well as in writing,” he said.

“I can show the media if they are interested, a large number of petitions I have received which will explain the current situation in flux,” he said.

“My decision is temporary. I have arranged a meeting on the 10th with religious leaders of all faiths, the monks and political leaders to discuss the matter,” he said.

He further said that after Easter Sunday bombings, the Muslim traders did not turn up at Dankotwa Sathi Pola until the police asked them to come and that there are many sections that have become agitated about it.

One petition calling for the exclusion of Muslim traders that was signed by a large number of persons says that it is an issue of ensuring “Sinhala dominance” in the Dankotuwa Pola.

The Dankotuwa Police said that it was ready to ensure security and peace at the Pola. Wennappuwa PS Opposition Leader Shirone Fernando (UNP) told the Daily News that his party fully opposed the ‘ban’ move as one that would disrupt ethnic relations and worsen the situation. JVP district coordinator Ajith Gihan also stated that the ‘ban’ move was a racially motivated one and aimed at causing communal tensions. He said that the JVP fully opposed the move by the PS chairman. Meanwhile, SLPP members defended their chairman’s ‘ban’ move as one that was “temporary” and was meant to avoid communal tensions.

 


 

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