SRI LANKA: AHRC Intervenes to Support Residents of Depanama, Pannipitiya to Stop Sound Pollution

March 20, 2018

Inspector general of Police,
Police Headquarters
Sri Lanka
Fax Number: +94 112440440

Re: Complaint against Sound Pollution caused by temple authorities at Sri Devram Maha Viharaya, Pannipitiya

Dear Sir,

I am writing this on behalf of the Asian Human Rights Commission. Our commission has revived a complaint from about 35 local residents of Pannipitiya. The residnetshave come to know about Sri Devram Maha Viharaya, Pannipitiya having hired some criminal elements for mounting loudspeakers on the electric light posts in their residential areas. The loudspeakers are to be used for loud noise during religious procession organised by the temple authorities.

We understand that the police has permitted the use of loudspeakers only inside the temple premises. However, the temple authorities are attempting to do it even outside, in the public area, by force by use of criminal elements to get it done.

We are kindly requesting you to immediately intervene in order to stop this act that will greatly inconvenience the local residents. Further, the involvement of the criminal elements in this act creates likelihood of breach of peace and possibleoutbreak of violence. This dispute between the said temple authorities and the people living in Pannipitiya area has been continuing for some time and the residents have repeatedly complained against it to the police and other authorities but to no avail. Many of the residents who have complained are former state and private sector employees who are now in retirement. There are several persons suffering from old age related ailments. They have suffered sound pollution during such processions in the past. They cannot rest in their houses and cannot sleep due to such noise pollution. Therefore, we once again request you to urgently intervene in the issue and ensure that such loudspeaker assault does not take place.

Your Sincerly

Bijo Francis

1. Assistant Superintendent of the Police, Nugegoda
2. Officer in charge, Police Station, Maharagama