Public property set ablaze thinking it was Basil’s!

The house built on a 16 acre land on Dodampe Malwana Mapitigama Gangabada Road which was suspected to belong to former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and was set ablaze by the protesters is however, reported to be  public property.

The courts declared it a public property as no one claimed ownership to that property.

Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and the property’s current registered owner Muditha Jayakody both told court that the property did not belong to them.

Accordingly, on October 14, 2016, Pugoda Magistrate DA Ruwanpathirana ordered that the land be sold at a public auction and that the proceeds from the sale be taken into the custody of the Pugoda Magistrate's Court.

Meanwhile, Thusith Mudalige appearing for the Attorney General's Department, had requested the court to suspend the auction of the property, which was valued at Rs. 208 million, stating that the government was planning of using the land and the building for public welfare.

Thereafter, the then minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksha proposed that this land and building be used to establish a police training school.
After that proposal, it is reported that Good Governance minister Sagala Ratnayake was making preparations to implement Wijayadasa’s proposal.

However, nothing materialized and a police post was set up at the property to protect it.

Ironically, the property had been burnt down while such a police post was established at the premises.

Therefore, legal experts said that this is not the private property of any of the Rajapaksa family members and those responsible for setting this property on fire should be arrested and charged under the laws on damaging public property.
Meanwhile, the villagers living in the vicinity claim that it was the police that had set fire to the property.