Position of Shaman at Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya – FR petitions before SC

Position of Shaman at Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya – FR petitions before SC

Written by Bella Dalima

22 Sep, 2014 | 9:18 pm

Two fundamental rights petitions have been lodged with the Supreme Court, requesting determinations against a previous determination of the court with regard to the position of Shaman at the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya.

Making submissions with regard to the petitions, Attorney-at-Law Upul Jayasuriya and Saliya Peiris noted that such action was unprecedented.

In 2005, the Mount Lavinia District Court, determined that under terms of settlement, an individual identified as Pathmasiri Ranjith Adhikarama, had a right to function as a Shaman at the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya.

The Civil Appellate High Court later quashed an appeal in this regard filed by the then Basnayake Nilame or Chief Layperson of the Kataragama Devalaya.

When an appeal was filed against this determination in the Supreme Court, a three member bench quashed the appeal, confirming Pathmasiri Ranjith Adhikarama’s right to function as a shaman at the Devalaya.

That determination was handed down by a bench comprising of justice Shirani Thilakawardhane, Chandra Ekanayake and Priyasad Depp.

Against this backdrop, a shaman at the Kataragama Devalaya, Dayananda Adhikari and a Secretary at the Presidential Secretariat Pathmasiri Rajapaksa, have once again filed fundamental rights petitions before the Supreme Court.

Both petitions were taken up today before a three member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Justices K. Sri Pavan, Sarath de Abrew and Priyantha Jayawardane.

Representing Pathmasiri Ranjith Adhikarama in court on Monday, Attorneys-at-Law Upul Jayasuriya and Saliya Peiris submitted that the petitions should be considered by the same bench that handed down the determination at the previous occasion.

They submitted further that another justice could be appointed to the bench only in the event that a justice on the previous bench had since retired.

However, the Supreme Court ordered that since Chief Justice Mohan Peiris had determined that he himself should examine the petitions, the petitions would be taken up before a bench headed by him, on October 13.

 

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