24th October, 2004  Volume 11, Issue  15

First with the news and free with its views                                     First with the news and free with its views                             First with the news and free with its views                                    


The killing of Kingsley Rasanayagam

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj 

The "Karuna crisis" facing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) led by Velupillai Pirapaharan took a significant turn when Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Col. Karuna announced the.......


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> Suicides on the decline

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The killing of Kingsley Rasanayagam

Kingsley Rasanayagam

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj 

The "Karuna crisis" facing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) led by Velupillai Pirapaharan took a significant turn when Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Col. Karuna announced the formation of a new political party the Tamil Eelam Makkal Viduthalaip Puligal (People's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). Karuna was to be its president. This act of defiance would no doubt have inflicted a serious wound to the Tiger psyche.

Adding salt to this wound would have been the subsequent announcement about the birth of a new Tamil front. The party launched by Karuna along with the near defunct Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front led by Gnanasekeram alias "Paranthan" Rajan came together as the Tamil Eelam Ikkiya Viduthalai Munnani ( United Liberation Front of Tamil Eelam). Karuna and Rajan were to be the front's joint leaders.


How was the LTTE going to react to what was an unambiguously open challenge? The first indication of the Tiger response - in typical LTTE fashion - came on Tuesday, October 19th evening. Two assassins on a motorcycle shot dead the well known Eastern Tamil political activist and ex-parliamentarian of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Kingsley Rasanayagam around 6. 20 p.m. near the Kalliyankaadu cemetery in Iruthayapuram within Batticaloa municipal limits.

Though Kingsley had fallen foul of the mainstream LTTE earlier and penalised, he had not been executed. The Tiger's killing him now was an unmistakable message. It could be interpreted as having two reasons.

Firstly, the LTTE suspected and feared that Kingsley would be in the forefront of Karuna's new political party and front. From a Tiger perspective this cruel killing was a preemptive strike to prevent such activity. Whether Kingsley was actually planning to do so or not was immaterial to the LTTE.

Secondly, the Tigers wanted to convey a clear signal to any person of political or social stature in the Eastern Province that joining Karuna's party was forbidden. If anyone chose to do so their fate would be similar to that which befell Kingsley Rasanayagam. There would be no mercy!

The killing of Kingsley Rasanayagam by the Tigers has shocked and dazed the people of Batticaloa. Given his close association with the Tigers for nearly three decades and the service he rendered the LTTE in the past many people believed that whatever his "offence" Kingsley would not have been harmed physically by Pirapaharan.

Such belief can amount only to incredible naivete. The track record of the LTTE's Numero Uno shows clearly that notwithstanding their past contributions to the Tigers any person presently perceived as an impediment to Pirapaharan's progress will be eliminated. From the likes of Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran, Thangathurai, Nimalanayagam,Premadasa and Mahathaya to scores of lesser known people the list is endless.

Unarticulated fear

Now Kingsley Rasanayagam in spite of his past relationship with the LTTE has been killed. If 'terror' is the name of the LTTE game in the east the Tigers seem to have succeeded. People in Mattakkalappu who knew of Kingsley's "record" with the LTTE realise now how ruthless the Tigers could be. "If they can treat Kingsley in this way what will they do to us?" is the fear articulated openly.

Sixty three year old Kingsley Rasanayagam hailed originally from Kallaru in the south of Batticaloa District. He was a Tamil Christian (Methodist). Kallaru people are generally well-educated and the village is popularly referred to as "Kalvi aaru" (river of education) because of this. Kingsley's father who was a schoolmaster moved to Batticaloa town when Kingsley was quite young. Kingsley himself married in Thamaraikerny in Batticaloa town and settled down there.

Kingsley was involved in Federal Party politics from his student days. He was three years younger to the Tamil nationalist poet Kasi Anandan from Amirthakali and was strongly influenced by him. Even after becoming a People's Bank employee Kingsley kept on dabbling in politics albeit keeping a low profile.

The rise of armed Tamil militancy saw Kingsley lending a helping hand. Without fanfare or publicity Rasanayagam provided aid and assistance to militant activity clandestinely. His sympathies were with the LTTE from the time the Tigers rooted themselves in Batticaloa. After the Praba-Uma split Kingsley sided with the former. His loyalty to Pirapaharan had been unquestionable for many, many years.

Kingsley began playing a prominent role as a member of the Batticaloa citizens committee in the post-1983 period. His affinity with the LTTE became obvious only during the years of the Indian army occupation (1987-90). He was closely associated with senior LTTE leader and brother of Kasi Anandan, Sivajeyam alias Kugan in collecting funds for the LTTE clandestinely.

Kingsley was also involved with the Batticaloa Mother's Front. He played an important role in organising the protest fasts of Ponnammah David and Poopathy Kanapathypillai against the Indian army excesses. The Indians aborted Ponnammah's fast by disrupting it and force-feeding her. But Poopathy went on and like Thileepan died. She is now venerated as "Annai" (Mother) Poopathy.

Role in LTTE

Kingsley acted as advisor to the Mother's Front during this period and accompanied their delegations to Colombo to interact with former Indian envoy J. N. Dixit. He also acted as an unofficial emissary between the High Commission and the Eastern LTTE. Once Kingsley was asked to convey a particular message to the Tigers. The Indian army however was monitoring Kingsley without his knowledge. They surrounded the place where Kingsley was talking to a senior Batticaloa Leader, Sitha and arrested both. Kingsley was incarcerated by the Indians for quite a while despite his role as messenger.

After the Indian army's departure the LTTE was openly active in Batticaloa. The first convention of the newly formed LTTE political party, People's Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT) was held at Vaaharai. PFLT branches were opened all over the east. Kingsley being a bank employee did not assume any official role in the PFLT, but there was no doubt about his place in the LTTE scheme of things in Batticaloa.

The outbreak of war and the escalation of violence in the government controlled Batticaloamade people like Kingsley vulnerable as their LTTE affiliations were public knowledge. So Rasanayagam left his family behind in Batticaloa and obtained a transfer to Jaffna. The northern region was fully under LTTE control then.

After the army regained Jaffna in 1995 Kingsley too relocated to the Wanni like the rest of LTTE leaders. He retired from People's Bank and worked in the Tamil rehabilitation organisation and later the consortium of NGOs.

He returned to Batticaloa and family after an absence of more than a decade after the February 23rd ceasefire between Wickremesinghe and Pirapaharan. Kingsley worked in Batticaloa as the transport manager of the LTTE. The man who was very close to Pirapaharan at one time now came under the orbit of the LTTE's Eastern Commander Karuna Amman.

Given Kingsley's sincerity to the Tamil cause and his long standing relationship with the LTTE it was only a matter of time before he became a trusted confidant of Karuna. Kingsley was not a creature of Karuna's as depicted in sections of the media. His role in the Tamil national struggle preceded Karuna's. His relationship with the LTTE too was a fact long before Karuna emerged on the Tiger scene. Nevertheless, with Karuna as Eastern Tiger Chief and Kingsley returning 'home' a close relationship between both became inevitable.

With parliamentary elections being announced and the LTTE backing a slate of TNA candidates contesting under the house symbol of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), Kingsley too became a handpicked candidate of the Tigers. Karikalan selected the candidates with Karuna's approval.

One month before polls the Karuna rebellion erupted. Apart from Joseph Pararajasingham all other Eastern TNA candidates including Kingsley were regarded as Karuna's people now. The situation was indeed tragi-comic. Before the rebellion they were all perceived as Tiger nominees who took an oath of loyalty to Pirapaharan after nomination. With the rebellion the situation transformed itself overnight.

Changing situation

Rumour mills began working overtime. Rajan Sathiyamoorthy and Kingsley Rasanayagam were supposedly becoming ministers in a Chandrika Kumaratunga government it was said. Sathiyamoorthy, a former UNP politician was killed by the LTTE. It was then felt that Kingsley was not targeted because of his relationship with the LTTE in general and Pirapaharan in particular.

The election results saw a surprise result. Kingsley had come fourth with 38, 633 preferences and was elected. One reason for Kingsley's victory was the fact that former Batticaloa District TULF MP, Pon' Selvarajah had been debarred from contesting this time by the LTTE. Selvarajah like Kingsley hailed from Kallar. Thus, the "kallaru" bloc vote came to Kingsley and helped him win. His star was on the rise. Once again his name was bandied about as a cabinet minister in a Kumaratunga government. Karuna's bloc of five MPs was to join the government it was felt. Kingsley himself stated openly in interviews that his objective was the development of Batticaloa.

Kingsley's world came crashing down one week after the elections when the LTTE launched a military offensive. In a bid to avert eastern blood being shed unnecessarily Karuna entered into an unofficial understanding with the Tiger leadership and called the fighting off. With Karuna leaving Batticaloa the ground situation changed.

Acting under pressure

Joseph Pararajasingham despite his 14 years in parliament and open support of the Wanni Tigers failed to get elected. So too was Ariyanendiran, the Kokkatticholai Sivan Temple "Vannaakkar" (Trustee) and erstwhile editor of the Eastern Tamil newspaper Thamil Alai (Tamil wave). Ariyanendran had the support of people like Ramesh, Kausalyan, Ram, etc., on account of caste kinship. Both had to get MP posts.

Ariyam, Jeyanandamoorthy, Thangeswary, etc., had all changed 'promptly' and abandoned Karuna after his fall. But Kingsley to his credit did not rush to denounce Karuna and swear allegiance to Pirapaharan. People like Kingsley whose primary loyalty was to the Tamil cause and movement were in a dilemma. A clear cut choice between Pirapaharan and Karuna was something they wished to avoid. Events however were moving too fast and made the question of choice meaningless.

Pressure was exerted on Kingsley to resign his seat. The idea was to appoint the "defeated" Joseph as national list MP and for Ariyam to take Kingsley's place after he resigned. Both Pararajasingham and Ariyanendran gave several interviews to Tiger controlled media organs that elections in Batticaloa were seriously flawed. They attributed their failure to be elected to the elections being unfair. People like Anandasangaree, Siddharthan and Devananda alleged malpractices in northern elections. But telling indictments about eastern polls by people like Joseph, Ariyam, etc., have gone unnoticed.

In a bid to clear himself Kingsley went to the Wanni with his wife and met the LTTE supremo. They spent several days in Kilinochchi and Puthukudiyiruppu, but did not get an audience with the self styled Sun God. In fact no LTTE leader of any standing met with Rasanayagam. Kingsley realised what it meant to be to fall out of favour with the Tiger hierarchy.

Upon returning to Batticaloa, Kingsley was taken into custody by the LTTE. He was detained in Aayithiyamalai and persuaded to tender his resignation letter. This he did and was released. Though elected, Kingsley had not attended parliament and taken his oaths. He was the only elected MP absent when parliament convened to elect the speaker. With media reports ofKingsley being pressurised to resign he was required to present himself to the Parliament Secretary General and confirm his resignation.

Powerful message

Kingsley came to Colombo and did so. There was speculation that he would not accept LTTE diktat and would withdraw his forced resignation. Kingsley however was in no mood to take risks. According to relatives he was deeply hurt by the way in which he was treated by the LTTE. His health too was affected by the trauma. He did not wish to expose his family to unnecessary danger. All that he wanted was to quit politics and return to a normal life. So he resigned formally.

Kingsley was provided police protection in view of his peculiar predicament. He refrained from politics and began some entrepreneurial activity. With the aid of relatives and friends living abroad Kingsley started a small industrial unit manufacturing concrete casting blocks in Iruthaiyapuram. He also bought a further 18 perches from two others in the area and began expansion plans.

On that fateful Tuesday, Kingsley had gone to the workshop with his two police bodyguards. When returning they found that they were extremely low on petrol due to a leak. One of the constables went to bring a mechanic and petrol while Kingsley remained in the car with the other policeman,Hemantha Withanage. It was about 6. 20 p.m. when the two assassins on a motorcycle struck. Kingsley was killed while Withanage sustained injuries.

The LTTE had delivered a powerful message. The Tigers will not allow the political party floated by Karuna to function in the north-east let alone Batticaloa. Anyone suspected of playing a part in Karuna's politics like Kingsley will definitely be bumped off. It did not matter to the Tigers whether Kingsley was really involved in Karuna's party or not. He had to be eliminated as a warning to both prevent the new party taking root and also to discourage potential recruits.

Continuing killings

Thus Kingsley despite his long relationship with Tamil nationalism and the LTTE was gunned down by the very same Tigers he helped nurture and nourish at one time. His death was not the first tragedy of this sort in the family. His brother in law, Mala Ramachandran - married to his wife's sister Susheela - had been assassinated some years ago bythe Tamil "cobra army" (Naagappadai). Ramachandran too was an ardent Tamil nationalist and was one of those detained for Tamil politics. Yet the same man was perceived as a traitor at a later stage and killed.

Now it wasKingsley's turn. The "Tiger man" of not very long ago was viewed as an expendable traitor amid changed circumstances. The practice of killing perceived opponents as traitors was now turning inward. If the Mahathaya episode resulted in a deadly purge the Karuna revolt has been worse. Both sides suspect each other and even their own cadres. Demarcating lines are blurred. So both sides go on killing in the name of the Tamil people.

The killing spree however displays signs of a qualitative change after the advent of Karuna's political party and front. Apart from young fighters, elders and others suspected of playing a political role too are likely to be targeted. Kingsley Rasanayagam is the first such victim. He leaves behind his wife Sugirtha, two daughters Narmatha, Tharpana and son Sathish.

Suicides on the decline

By Shezna Shums 

Although the main reason for committing suicide has not changed - that being poverty - the suicide rate in the country has shown an overall reduction.

In 1995 the suicide rate was 8,519 while 2003 showed the suicide rate had come down to 3,995-throughout the years showing a consistent decline in the figures.

Director, Police Public Relations, SSP Rienzie Perera noted that the areas that produce the highest number of suicides are Anuradhura, Kegalle, Kandy and Ratnapura.

While explaining that the foremost reason for committing suicide was poverty, disappointment in gaining employment, illfated relationships and failure in an examination are also key among the causes for suicides.

Perera pointed out that the reduction in the suicide rate was due to several awareness campaigns carried out by the police and other organisations making people aware that there are answers to their problems rather than committing suicide.

According to an official from Sri Lanka Sumithrayo, suicide is a complex behaviour that has biological, psychological and social implications. While suicide is mainly committed to escape from painful circumstances or as an act of revenge which is evident in the notes left behind.

It is also learnt that more males commit suicide, but a far greater number of females attempt to kill themselves. The reason being a female may go to great lengths to commit suicide in order to scare or warn others  rather than actually having the notion of dying as the final outcome.

Meanwhile, there is also a strong relationship between alcoholism and suicide, as one third of suicide victims have been found to be dependant on alcohol.

According to the available suicide statistics maintained by the police, the figures show that in 2003 the most common means of committing suicide were by taking poison, hanging, jumping into water, setting oneself on fire, jumping in front of a train, throwing acid on oneself and the most common in rural areas, especially in the south is by taking kaneru, a poisonous plant.

The ratio of suicide is 1:3 (females to males) and suicides are committed in both the rural and urban areas.

It is also learnt from Sri Lanka Sumithrayo that the decline in the suicide rate is owing to several factors and key among them is that poisonous materials are now stored and issued with more care.

The other reasons for the decline are kaneru hedges are pruned, mentally ill people are taken for medical treatment and suicide is not being accepted under any circumstances.

Police statistics 

Year     Female          Male         Total

1995     2,263            6,256            8,519

1996     1,603            5,741            7,344

1997     1,591            4,827            6,418

1998     1,347            4,492            5,839

1999     1,371            4,536            5,907

2000     1,378            4,034            5,412

2001     1,177            3,778            4,955

2002     1,025            3,667            4,692

2003       853             3,142            3,995  

Highway to hell

Some of the residents left homeless and reduced to begging as a result of the highway

By Frederica Jansz 

In view of the controversy, charges and counter charges surrounding the southern highway, where a multi billion rupee misappropriation of funds is alleged, The Sunday Leader today will focus on the compensation and resettlement of families. Out of an initial 622 families to be re-settled increased to 1,315 after the original route trace was altered - illegally.

A report dated July 29, 2004 by Noriko Shimizu, campaigner of Friends of the Earth Japan comments in detail on the Southern Transport Development Project (STDP).


Two weeks ago, The Sunday Leader highlighted comments made by a senior attorney-at-law Bruce Rich before a US Senate seriously questioning the viability of this project which is funded partly by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Shimizu working for an international environmental NGO made a field visit to Sri Lanka from June 10th - 16th this year. The field work was conducted together with a Chief Representative, Representative Office of JBIC in Colombo.

Their visit covered the following areas: Gelanigama, Kolamadiriya, Kahatuduwa, Weediyagoda, Gamagoda, Dodangaoda, Attalahena, Halgasmulla, Ankokkawala, Kabarayamulla, Diyagama, Alubogahawatta and Wiyawalawatta. In these areas, some 20 affected people (AP) were directly interviewed and some 40-50 AP were indirectly interviewed.

The Sunday Leader also visited some of these areas and we today carry excerpts of some interviews we held with the affected people.

What is questionable is the compensation and resettlement issue. The Resettlement Implementation Plan (RIP) was prepared to provide policy and procedural guidelines for land acquisition, compensation, resettlement, income, and livelihood restoration for AP. It was submitted both to the ADB and the JBIC by the Road Development Authority (RDA). It was a condition of loan effectiveness that a RIP satisfactory to ADB shall have been approved. Concerning JBIC, it was the condition of loan agreement.

Some of the examples we produce today of APs will describe how the RIP has been breached. For instance, P. Kularatne, lives at Diyagama Kottawa. This is the only site currently used for people on the JBIC section of the trace.

Kularatne and his family of five - husband and wife and one school going son, married son, daughter in law with baby lived on the main Horana/Maharagama Road. Which was well served by buses. They had three shops with accommodation for five families at the back. It had electricity and they had their own well. They had no permanent jobs and lived from selling small things and casual labour.

The area they have been resettled in is off the road with nobody living nearby. Their means of livelihood have been completely lost. They now live far from the main bus route and cannot do any small business as before. They were given a plot of 10 perches, but the compensation paid was not enough to build a house. They have built a part, but continue to live in a wooden shed.

Not enough land

The land they previously occupied was 30.18 perches in extent which was owned by Kularatne's mother. As they had lived there for over 40 years, their lives were well established in that area.

First paid compensation of Rs. 140,000 Kularatne complained was not enough to build a new house. The divisional secretary allegedly then threatened him that they would 'dozer' the house without any compensation and he would then have to go. So they had no alternative but to leave. After he built the foundation and wall on the 10 perches he had been given as an alternative he was forced to leave his old accommodation so he borrowed Rs .25,000 and moved into a hut.

As they had no money to complete the house they went to see one Dayaratne and Somaratne at RDA, Sethsiripaya. Recounting his conversation with these two officials he said, "I told them that we did not even have money to build a toilet. Dayaratne said you signed for this amount you will not get anymore. You lived in terrible hovels before so now what are you grumbling about?"

The violation to the RIP is this. Kularatne is now devoid of means to live after the resettlement as there has been no income restoration. He used to have a teashop and this was his main livelihood. The new place is way off the main road and there is no way he could carry on with his previous means of income. He is now growing vegetables on the field that will be used for a playground, as their means of survival. He has no steady income.

P. Gnanawathie lives with her 12 year old son. She Received Rs. 210,00 to build a house. "When we told the valuers that this was not enough to build a house they told us that we will 'dozer' your house as we did in Hanwella and you will have to leave without a cent," she said, adding "We were told that we had no title deed so therefore we were not entitled to more."

Unfinished houses

She said they produced electricity bills and the grama niladhari had confirmed that they were long standing residents for 25 years. But she had no choice, but to sign her compliance.

In January this year she built the walls of her new home. By April 13, she had made a temporary roof for the kitchen and one room. She had to take a loan of Rs. 36,000. "We appealed to Mr. Dayaratne to give us some money to build even the roof. He said we lived in huts before so why do we need more?" She pointed out that before they had electricity and a decent house with doors.

Subsequently, Gnanawathie did receive more compensation which has helped her to complete the roof on her house.

Additionally, there are about 15 affected families in Attalahena a resettlement site near Immaduwa. Each family has been allocated 20 perches. One family used to have three houses on an acre of land before moving, but now has space to build only one house. The father and main breadwinner, suffering from a heart attack and cannot work now. He used to have his own business, paddy field and trees such as coconut, cinnamon and jackfruit, including tea bushes within this one acre land, but now, their current livelihood is only his pension.

With only 20 perches of land, they cannot grow trees like before. They need more than Rs 10,000 per month to live, but the father now earns only Rs. 5,000 per month from his pension. Compensation to such families was to have been Rs. 1.8 million each, but they were told that compensation would be paid in six installments. The house they have built so far cost Rs. 1 million, but is nowhere near finished.

Breaching agreement

Rs. 115,000 has been spent for wood for a temporary house. Two daughters and one son are unemployed after moving.

Another family we spoke to the husband is a daily worker and earns Rs. 240 per day. They received Rs. 156,000 as compensation. This family used to have many trees such as coconut, mango, banana, etc., but now have nothing. Due to the small plot they cannot grow trees. Although the RDA have promised pipe borne water and a well, they have not been given anything yet. They have to instead carry water from a mile away. They also do not have electricity.

The breach of the RIP is this. Although these families were given '20 perch' plots, which is the minimum of the land to be allocated to each household, titleholders in quantity and quality do not seem to have been considered. There is no income restoration programme. The families were never consulted. Information brochures and leaflets were not distributed to them. The resettlement site has yet to be developed with an adequate water supply, access to electricity, access and internal roads, and a drainage system. All the compensation should have been paid before resettlement. This has not been the case.

Another resettlement site at Halgasmulla also near Immaduwa is being used to resettle families breaching the RIP as it has done at Attalahena.

Livelihood threatened

An affected person who did not wish for his name to be divulged said, his total compensation should have been Rs. 800,000, but so far he has received only Rs. 545,000. He says the RDA broke many promises.

They had said that they would give him Rs. 14,000 by way of an unemployment allowance, but he only got Rs. 3,000. The RDA had also promised him Rs. 1,500 for shifting house, but he never got it. The RDA he states also said they would give him a further payment for electricity, but this was deducted from his compensation. Although he has lived here for one year and a half, he has not been given any document of land entitlement. "I used to have a larger estate, but it was not taken into account in the compensation," he said.

The issue is this. Whether the RDA has the capacity or appropriate governance to implement the RIP is dubious.


Noriko Shimizu in her report says that when she had a meeting with the RDA Chairman and four RDA officials, in the presence of the chief representative of JBIC office in Colombo on June 15, the Chairman, RDA had promised that the RIP will be made available in District Secretariats in Sinhala within a month. However, Shimizu asserts that this document has not been translated even a month after her meeting.

In addition, at the meeting, she says the Chairman had promised to send a breakdown of compensation to each affected persons but that this too has not yet been implemented.

What is worse are the stories by affected persons who claim the RDA has threatened them allegedly claiming that any opposition to the route or relocation will decrease compensation to those affected. They have also apparently carried out surveys of the land and houses to be acquired without issuing prior notice to owners.

A highway is certainly a necessity in the name of development and progress. But governments cannot be allowed to bulldoze their way through homes and livelihoods ignoring the heavy price on human lives.

This is why guidelines are in place to ensure damage is minimised. But in this case procedures are being ignored and human livelihoods together with basic facilities trampled all in the name of a development project for the south. One that has already drawn international attention and cited as being one among two in Asia of the worst funded projects that has abused and violated norms and procedures.  

A temple threatened by the changing of the route

The temple is the Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation in Weedagama East Bandaragama. It is an orphanage and meditation centre both for monks from Sri Lanka as well as abroad. It was opened by the President in 1998 and established by an Act of Parliament in the year 2000.

One day, the RDA came to this temple and had told the monk STDP would cross his temple land. The monk signed for consultation. Later in February 2003, a surveyor with police arrived without any prior notice. The monk had refused to let them enter, but police had insisted saying 'you cannot refuse!'

The monk appealed to President Chandrika Kumaratunga. She wrote to then Highways Minister Tilak Marapone, requesting him to ensure the highway stuck to its original trace and was not relocated. This however was not done and the acquisition continues on either side of the Temple, which will eventually make an alteration impossible. Late September, surveyors arrived with the Grama Niladhari saying that the monk had agreed to the expressway. The monk in charge told them that they were definitely opposed and had sent them off.

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