STATE PROHIBITS DAMAGING ARCHAEOLOGICALLY VALUED GODAMUNNE WALAUWA
The Walauwa was built by Dutch Prisoners prior to March 02, 1815
T. FAROOK THAJUDEEN
Court of Appeal issued a writ of prohibition against the Road Development Authority, its Chief Engineer of Kandy branch, The Divisional Secretary of Mahanuwara Four Gravets and Gangawata Korale and the Director General of the Archaeology Department from damaging the archaeologically valued Godamunne Walauwa build by Dutch Prisoners prior to March 02, 1815. The Judges of Court of Appeal Justice Sobitha Rajakaruna and Justice Dhammika Ganepola issued a writ of prohibiting against the respondents from damaging the Godamunne Walauwa on considering a petition filed by petitioner Virandra Kirthi Bandara of Godamunne Walauwa, Ampitiya Road, Kandy. During the hearing of the case Counsel S. A. Parathalingham PC appearing with Nishkan Parathalingham, Upeka Sooriyapatabendige and Dinia Thomas for the petitioner made submissions in court against the acquiring of a part of the Walauwa by the respondents under the Land Acquisition Act No 9 of 1950. Counsel Parathalingham pleaded that the Walauwa is a historically significant construction constructed by the Dutch prisoners predating March 02, 1815. Therefore, it is a protected monument and any monument built before March 02,1815 is a protected monument by Gazette No 1264 of 22 November 2002. In view of this the Walauwa is declared a protected monument. The Counsel contended that the Ampitiya Road widening project would cause damage to the Walauwa due to the necessity of acquisition of the Walauwa for road widening. He emphasised that there is a threat of damaging the Walauwa due to the vibration from the road construction work and heavy traffic. It is also strenuously argued that when a building is declared a protected monument, the entire premises is protected under the Acquisition Ordinance. The two Judges decided that the petitioner is entitled to a prohibiting order against the 3rd respondent from taking steps to take over the possession of the stretch of land between the parapet walls of the Walauwa. Court issued a writ of prohibition against the respondents from taking any action under the Land Acquisition Act. Assistant Solicitor General Vickum de Abrew PC with State Counsel Amasara Gajadeera appeared for the respondents.