Arrest warrant against Gnanasara Thero

Arrest warrant against Gnanasara Thero

June 15, 2017   11:09 am

The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today issued an arrest warrant against the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary, Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero, for failing to appear before the court.

The arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear before the court with regard to the case filed against him and seven others on 8 charges including forcefully entering and sabotaging a press conference held at a hotel in Slave Island (on April 09, 2014), criminal force and minor assault. 

Arrest warrants were issued against Ven. Gnanasara Thero and Ven. Ariyawansagama Samidda Thera, the first and fifth defendants in the case respectively, as they failed to appear before the court. 

The other five suspects were ordered to appear before the court on August 10. 

Meanwhile Ven. Gnanasara Thero has also been charged with a case for insulting a religion. 

A manhunt is currently on for the hard-line Buddhist leader after a series of attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses that authorities accuse him of encouraging.

A warrant was also issued for the Thero’s arrest in May on allegations of obstructing the police from exercising their duties in addition to making hate speeches in several places. 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday promised tougher legislation to deal with hate crimes and vowed not to allow a repeat of 2014 anti-Muslim riots.

“The police as well as all other relevant authorities have been ordered to ensure law and order is maintained,” he said in a special address to the nation.

“We are ready to introduce new laws.” Wickremesinghe did not give details, but official sources said the government would introduce new provisions to prosecute hate speech.

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