Colombo: A row over animal sacrifice ritual at a famous Hindu temple in northwestern Sri Lanka today prompted a local court to ban demonstrations around the vicinity of the shrine.
The district court in Chilaw ordered that no protest demonstrations should be held around the vicinity of the Sri Bhadra Kali Amman Kovil until September 2. The order came in response to a complaint filed by the Chilaw police.
Fears of clashes between the Buddhists and the Hindu devotees loomed as a large number of Buddhist clergy and laymen marched to the temple on Sunday in protest against the scheduled animal sacrifice at the annual feast of the Kovil on September 1.
"The animal sacrifice will go ahead despite protests by religious and animal rights groups," Kalimuthu Sivapathasunderam the chief priest of the temple said.
The Animal Welfare Trust, an animal rights group said they would seek a court order preventing the annual feast and its sacrifice.
Last year`s sacrifice was disrupted by the minister of public relations Mervyn Silva who forcibly removed all animals brought to the site for the sacrifice.
Silva said he would perform a sathyakriya near the temple to prevent this year`s sacrifice.
"Whether it is Hinduism or any other religion killing is not encouraged. So I invite all those who are against the killing of animals to join me to perform the sathyakriya", Silva said.
The Hindus want the ritual to go ahead without hindrance and view the move as being one to curtail their religious freedom.