'Terrorist' monk surrenders in Lanka court

By Qadijah Irshad

Published: Wed 14 Oct 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 14 Oct 2015, 2:00 AM

The Sri Lankan police on Monday issued an arrest warrant against a radical Buddhist monk who was responsible for inciting mobs to kill, pillage, loot and burn an entire Muslim town in Aluthgama, some 40 miles from capital Colombo, last year.
Galgoda Aththa Gnanasara, whose organisation the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or the Buddhist Power Force, which was behind hundreds of racial violence-related incidents in the past four years, surrendered to the court on Monday. The warrant was issued when he failed to appear in the court.
Last year, the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, a United States-based group listed the BBS as a "terrorist organisation".
"The monk Gnanasara and six others were charged for allegedly abusing the Holy Quran and assaulting another senior Buddhist monk for preaching inter-faith tolerance last year," said Shiraz Noordeen one of the lawyers.
Gnanasara had a close coalition with the former Rajapaksa ruling family. "We are looked upon as terrorists now and it is the fault of the high (Buddhist) priests who have ignored this," Gnanasara told reporters outside a court premises in Colombo.
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