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Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha members’ swearing-in ceremony held

A swearing-in ceremony for newly-elected Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha members, was held at the pradeshiya sabha premises on March 29.

Parliamentarian Vijitha Berugoda, addressing the gathering at the ceremony, said former Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Chanaka Amil Rangana was unable to participate in the ceremony, as a warrant had been issued for his arrest for protesting against the recent police shooting that claimed the life of a sabha member.

Sri Abinavaramaya Chief Incumbent and Ruhuna/Magama Chief Adhikarana Sanganayake Pattuwa Ven. Kapugama Saranatissa Thera, Vedasitikanda Temple Chief Incumbent and Uva/Wellassa Chief Sanganayake Ven. Helle Gnanananda Thera, Sellakataragama Mahasena Temple Chief Incumbent Ven. Padawkema Jinananda Thera, Uva Provincial Council Chairman Vimal Galagamaarachchi, newly-elected Vice Chairman D. V. Shanta; newly-elected members Chandani Gallewatta, Bathiya Gallewatta, Priyantha Attanayake and A. Saman and Kataragama government officials also participated.

A police team numbering 50 officers were also present at the meeting, with the intention of arresting Rangana in relation to the recent protests. Highlighting on the police presence, MP Berugoda said that while Arjuna Mahendran was allowed to flee the country, the government was attempting arrest an innocent citizen.

Ven. Kapugama Saranatissa Thera said there was a saying that democracy was a foolish governing system and added that it had been proven by a female member of a pradeshiya sabha crossing over to another party after accepting a bribe of Rs. 200,000. Sabha members could be easily bought for the right price.

“Most of the newly-elected members of the Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha are former students of mine and I have advised them to execute their duties properly,” Ven. Saranatissa Thera said.

Ven. Heelle Gnanananda Thera said that three years ago, there were no heroin, cannabis or other varieties of narcotics found in Kataragama, but at present, they are in abundance.

Newly-elected Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha Vice Chairman D. V. Shanta said that the former Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman provided a yeoman service during his four years and three months of service.