Source: The Sunday Leader | Reporter: Ashanthi Warunasuriya
The police have filed a report in court against a monk in Batticaloa who was accused of inciting hatred among Tamils and Sinhalese in the area. The Kokkadicholai police filed the report after a complaint was filed by the Grama Niladhari (Officer).
The monk was accused of threatening the Tamil Grama Niladhari (Officer) last week and the video of the incident circulated on social media.
Civil society and human rights groups had raised concerns over the incident and another incident also involving a monk in the North. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had told Parliament last week that the government will not allow extremists to have their way.
In a letter to the IGP, a group of civil society members said on Friday that they were outraged by the blatant Police inaction and the complacency of the State towards the culture of impunity which prevails around the continuing trend of Buddhist monk-led violent attacks on ethnic and religious numerical minorities.
“While the Sri Lankan Constitution clearly guarantees all citizens the right to equality, non-discrimination and freedom of religion and religious worship, the number of attacks against religious and ethnic numerical minorities across Sri Lanka, by ethno-nationalist majoritarian groups, typically led by one or more Buddhist monks, remains unchecked. Civil society groups have consistently documented and reported such attacks to relevant authorities.
However, charges have never been brought against the perpetrators, despite the conduct of these monks being clear violation of hate-speech and anti-discrimination protections under Sri Lankan law,” the letter addressed to the IGP said. The letter also notes that the venerable Gnanasara Thero of the Bodu Bala Sena has threatened a ‘bloodbath’ in protest over the arrest of Prasad (alias Dan Priyasad), a self-proclaimed ‘Saviour of the Sinhalese’.
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