State officials unlawfully demand pastor obtain approval for religious worship activities

November 23, 2018 

At approximately 10:30 a.m., two individuals arrived at the church premises on a motorbike, claiming to be from the Gampaha Urban Development Authority. They began questioning the pastor about the premises and asked if he had received approval from the Divisional Secretariat to conduct his religious worship activities at the premises. The pastor responded that this was not a requirement; however, they insisted that he first obtain approval from the state. They then told him to meet the Planning Director from the Gampaha Pradeshiya Sabhawa the following Wednesday.