The funeral of Jaffna Naga Viharaya Chief Incumbent and Northern Province Chief Sanghanayaka, the late Most Ven, Meegahajandure Gnanarathana Thera was held at the Jaffna Mutraveli park on Saturday with the participation of Maha Sangha and the members of the armed forces. Traditionally no funeral services will be allowed to be held in a public park and it should be held in a public hall but the Army and the Buddhists monks in Jaffna wanted to show the Jaffna public there power.
The organising committee went ahead with the arrangements after a petition filed in the Jaffna Magistrate Court seeking an order to prevent the funeral ceremony had been rejected by Jaffna Magistrate S. Sadeeskaran as legally there was no law to stop a funeral being held in a public park. It was pointed out that a funeral can never be held in a public park in Sinhala area as the public will protest. In Jaffna people fear the Army and had to stay in door to avoide troubles with the Army and secret police harassing them in future.
Having called for an archaeological report, the judge said as the land was a crown land there was no obstacle to hold such a ceremony there. In the petition filed by the Chairman of the Jaffna Tamil People’s Cultural Organisation S. Nisanthan and Jaffna Organiser of Tamil National People’s Front V. Manimukan they had sought a court order to stop the prelate’s funeral ceremony at the Mutraveli public Ground as a Hindu Temple stood in this place.