Former Kurunegala Mayor, three others get 3 years RI

Former Kurunegala Mayor, three others get 3 years RI

Former Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Sanjeewa Vitharana and four others who stood indicted with demolishing King Buwanekabahu’s palace and who pleaded guilty were sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment by Kurunegala High Court Judge Lal Bandara Ranasinhge.

Former Municipal Commissioner Pradeep Tilakaratne, former Municipal Engineer Chaminda Bandara Adikari, Works Supervisor Ilalludeen Zulfikar, and Back Hoe Operator S.P. Laxman Priyantha were the other accused.

At the commencement of the trial, the defence moved to amend the indictment sheet and Deputy Solicitor General Madhawa Thannakoon representing the Attorny General effected it.

The accused stood indicted under five counts and they pleaded guilty to three counts each and were sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment under each count and in addition the first accused was fined Rs. 25,000 and the others Rs. 50,000 each.

They were ordered to pay Rs. 13.6 million as compensation for the building and sentenced to a further 6 years imprisonment in default of the compensation payment.

At the commencement of the trial, the accused deposited the compensation payment within about two hours.

The State Counsel submitted that the building destroyed by the accused was of archaeological importance and the offence committed by them was serious.

The High Court Judge held that the incident and drawn the attention of the entire country and that the accused were entitled to maximum punishment. He pointed out that the former Mayor, as the first citizen of the city, had acted very irresponsibly.