The decision to cut down a Bo Tree in the old mosque premises in Grandpass has been derailed 24 hours after the Colombo Municipal Council began cutting the tree down following a religious ceremony, after the Chief Priest of the Samadhi Viharaya claimed he was being threatened, sources told the Colombo Telegraph.
Following a heated meeting at the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs on Sunday that lasted over 3 hours, the Government agreed to return the old Molawatte mosque to the trustees and remove a Bo Tree on the premises that would allow the tiny mosque to expand.
The CMC commenced cutting the branches of the Bo Tree yesterday, after residents participated in religious ceremonies led by the Chief Priest Bopelasse Anuruddha Thero who also participated at the meeting at the Ministry on Sunday.
However according to residents, the cutting of the Bo Tree has now been suspended.
Some reports also indicate that the CMC has been unable to remove the root of the tree due to the way the roots have spread and because it could compromise the structures surrounding the area. Authorities have not ordered the suspension of the cutting of the tree so far, sources said.
However, senior Government officials have repeatedly voiced concerns that the Chief Monk in the area was not heeding advice from any quarter.