Abode of 'Ko­hamba De­viya' en­dan­gered

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By L.B. Se­naratne

Con­ser­va­tion­ists claim the abode of the ' Ko­hamba De­viya' at Ura­gala in Han­tana, Kandy, is be­ing de­stroyed via clear­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for a road­way and the con­struc­tion of a swim­ming pool in an area sit­u­ated 3000 feet above sea level.

The Di­vi­sional Sec­re­tary of the area has cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied per­mis­sion had been given for the con­struc­tion of a road or for the con­struc­tion a swim­ming pool, within the Han­tanne Estate.

He added the area was part of the Han­tanne Reser­va­tion.

Pres­i­dent of the Han­tanne Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion (HNCA) Amith Sennnayek, said it was il­le­gal to clear land or con­struct a road in the area, as it came un­der the purview of the Han­tane Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee of which his As­so­ci­a­tion was part of.

He added per­mis­sion was not given for any project, and em­pha­sised the Com­mit­tee had no power to al­lo­cate land above the 3,000 ft level.

The area is part of the Han­tanne Estate while at the same time be­ing part of a vil­lage.

Vil­lagers claim that if the abode of ' Khomba De­viyo' is dis­turbed, a calamity would fol­low. They point out Ura­gala has long been the leg­endary abode of ' Khomba De­viya' which also houses a De­vale.

Vil­lagers and other area res­i­dents protested the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity, but re­ceived no pos­i­tive re­sult.

The Han­tanne Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee which is chaired by the Dis­trict Sec­re­tary will meet within a week. Mean­while vil­lagers are pre­par­ing a series of protests to em­pha­sise their op­po­si­tion and halt the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity.

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