Withdrawal of Security Forces from Mihintale Rajamaha Vihara Amidst Controversy
Posted on December 10th, 2023

Courtesy Hiru News

State Minister for Defense Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon announced in Parliament today that 251 members of the Army, Navy, and Civil Defense Force, who were on duty at Mihintalea Rajamaha Vihara, will be withdrawn. The decision follows a question raised by opposition leader Sajith Premadasa in Parliament yesterday.

The controversy surrounding the security forces’ presence at Mihintalea Rajamaha Vihara escalated when one of the officers was questioned by authorities on the 7th. The officer in question had been staying with other security forces in the Dharma Sala building under construction at the temple. The statement made by Mihintalea Viharadhipa Thero further fueled political controversy.

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa brought the matter to the attention of Parliament, leading to Minister Tennakoon’s announcement today. The withdrawal of the 251 officers from the Army, Navy, and Civil Defense Force is seen as a response to address the political and public concerns surrounding the security forces’ presence at the revered religious site.

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