Government official claims pastor has no Constitutional right to religious freedom

January 19, 2018 

At approximately 09:30 a.m., the Unit Manager of the Additional District Secretariat arrived at the pastor’s premises and summoned him for a meeting. The pastor, along with 02 congregants arrived at the Additional District Secretariat at around 10 a.m. where they met with the Land Officer. The Land Officer reprimanded the pastor and demanded that he stop his religious worship activities immediately. He went on to say the pastor had no Constitutional right to engage in religious activities and that the regulations of the Mahaweli Authority were far superior to the Constitution. He threatened to reclaim the pastor’s land if his demands were not met and tried to coerce the pastor into signing a letter of compliance. The pastor, however, refused to sign anything and left.