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Stay order against Vishnu Devalaya

Sandasen MARASINGHE

The Matara Civil Appellate High Court issued an order on Wednesday staying an enjoining order issued by the Matara District Court that prevented the Upulwan Sri Vishnu Dewalaya of Dewinuwara from holding its Esala Salpila or any fair in the Devinuwara Pradeshiya Sabha area.

The Court issued the order after Basnayaka Nilame of Upulwan Sri Vishnu Dewalaya, Kanchana Wijesekara filed an appeal before the Civil Appellate High Court claiming that the respondents had suppressed material facts and made to issue the enjoining order on July 20, 2009.

The Bench comprised Civil Appellate High Court Judges Padma Palihakkara and Padmini N. Ranawaka Gunatilake.

In the appeal by Kanchana Wijesekara before the Civil Appellate High Court cited the Devinuwara Pradeshiya Sabawa as the Plaintiff-Respondent.

Appellant Wijesekara stated that there was a tradition to conduct an annual Esala Festival including a Esala procession and a Salpila at the Devinuwara Upulawan Dewalaya from the time of King Parakramabahu II who ruled in 1200 AD. He also stated the lands in Dewinuwara area had been donated to Devinuwara Upulwan Dewalaya by kings of the past.

But the Devinuwara Pradeshiya Sabha filed a plaint before the Matara District Court seeking an enjoining order preventing the Upulwan Devalaya from holding the Esala Salpila or any fair in the Devinuwara Pradeshiya Sabha area. The Pradeshiya Sabha also sought a declaration that only the Pradeshiya Sabha was entitled to conduct an Esala Salpila and any fair within the local limits of the Devinuwara Pradeshiya Sabha.

Wijesekara prayed before the Civil Appellate High Court to set aside the order issued by the District Court in this connection.

President's Counsel Wijedasa Rajapakse and President's Counsel Razik Zarook with Attorney Dasun Nagashena appeared for the appellant.

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