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Sri Lanka pickpockets rob nut crooks

ECONOMYNEXT – Dozens of politicians and their supporters had their pockets picked while they dashed coconuts at the Seenigama temple to invoke curses on the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), officials said Saturday.

The mass coconut dashing was off to an inauspicious start when police arrested three people who had allegedly stolen coconuts from a nearby plantation to be used at the unorthodox ritual.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the mass-curse event used loud speakers to appeal for a return of stolen wallets. Among the victims was opposition legislator Dinesh Gunawardena who stayed on at the venue hoping to see his purse again.

His prayers were partially answered when a bystander found the wallet of the opposition MP dumped near a garbage bin outside a restaurant, but cleaned of any cash and leaving only a few identity cards inside.

Dozens of others, including some journalists were not so lucky.

The United People’s Freedom Alliance dissidents who support former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had organised an event to dash 100,000 coconuts on Saturday, the first anniversary of the FCID.

The organisers had hoped tens of thousands would gather, but much fewer turned up. They wanted divine help to close down the FCID and curse the government out of power.

Seenigama is a temple where Buddhist devotees in Sri Lanka seek divine help to punish people who had harmed them or stolen their property.

The ritual of cursing involves dashing coconuts as well as grinding chillies, black pepper corns and ginger.

The grinding should be carried out with guidance from a temple employee. A slight shift of the grinding angle could mean the curse will befall the person casting the curse and not the "cursed" target.





It is usually forbidden to offer stolen property to the temple as that could also mean a backfiring of the intended curse.

A local magistrate ordered bail of 10,000 rupees each to three people, including two employees of the Nagoda Pradeshiya Saba who were accused of stealing the coconuts. (COLOMBO, Feb 6, 2016)

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