The Sunday Leader

Nilanga Dela Back In The Spotlight

  • Minister Orders Probe 

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya

Minister of Buddha Sasana, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, has ordered a report on allegations raised against the Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Nilanga Dela Bandara.

The report was sought following allegations raised that Nilanga Dela Bandara had signed deeds to sell historic land in the Kandy area.

Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs, Nimal Kotawala told The Sunday Leader that the Kandy Commission of Buddhist Affairs has been instructed to conduct inquiries into the allegations and submit a report tomorrow.

Kotawala said that the Minister wants to first verify the allegations before further action can be taken.

When The Sunday Leader contacted the office of the Diyawadana Nilame on Friday the newspaper was told that he was out of the country.

The Sunday Leader reported in 2015 how Dela was accused of selling traditional temple Rajakariya lands of the Dalada Maligawa to two property developers contravening the Service Tenant Ordinance.

It was reported then that Nilanga Dela single-handedly decided on the lifetime value of Rajakariya for two lands and allowed property developers to sell the Rajakariya lands without any restrictions.

Polgodahena and Udagedarawatte are two Rajakariya lands that belong to Dalada Maligawa. Both these lands were blocked and sold without informing the buyers that they are Rajakariya lands nor were they given any Rajakariya deeds.

Under the Service Tenants Ordinance, the value of Rajakariya could be decided every year if the tenants fail to perform their duties to the Dalada Maligawa.

A senior officer in the Department of Buddhist Affairs had told The Sunday Leader in 2015 that the Maligawa trustee cannot sell the Rajakariya panguwa (Portion) but could only claim annually that the tenant had not performed his/her duty to the Maligawa.

The allegations levelled against the selling of these lands were confirmed to The Sunday Leader by the parties that have purchased lands when they made a field visit to Udagedarawatte in Peradeniya in 2012.

However, despite The Sunday Leader expose at the time, the then Buddha Sasana Ministry had failed to take any action.

2 Comments for “Nilanga Dela Back In The Spotlight”

  1. garawi

    There are many rajamaha vihare in the island who sold land illegally in the last two decades. The government should look in to all these !

  2. stardust

    He looks like to be corrupt. Better to replace him.

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