(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A sri lankan high court gave a not guilty verdict to the general secretary of a
hardline buddhist group for attacking a cavalry church six years ago
Ven. galaboda aththe gnanasara of the radical bodu bala sena (bbs) group and 13 others including three monks were charged with causing damages to the church. they were also accused of attacking and injuring two pastors stealing a cell phone worth lkrs 15000 and snatching a gold chain worth lkrs 50000 that belonged to the pastors.
The colombo high court acquitted the 13 accused of all charges.
Ven. gnanasara a vociferous monk who leads an extremist buddhist organisation that has orchestrated anti-muslim and anti-christian hate campaigns has also been fined for drunk driving on a previous occasion.
Last year the monk pleaded guilty for the hit-and-run accident he was involved in when he drove a lorry while under the influence of alcohol after he initially denied the charges.
The court charged him with drunk driving speeding driving without a valid licence and failing to report the accident.
Buddhist monks in sri lanka are not issued driving licences on the grounds that it is against the preaching of buddhism which requires the celibate monkso lead a frugal life.
The bodu bala sena or the buddhist task force along with other extremist buddhist groups have organised various campaigns against the country’s minority muslim and christian communities which according to the organisation are needed to protect the country’s sinhalese-buddhist identity.
The organisation’s hardline attitudes have drawn concern and criticism from inside
and outside sri lanka even within the majority buddhist community.
Last year ven. gnanasara led several campaigns and succeeded in getting the government to ban the halal logo on all local food items.
His inflammatory statements and hate speeches against muslims and christians led to a series of mob attacks on churches mosques muslim establishments and individuals by the group’s buddhist followers.
The sri lankan government has been accused of turning a blind eye to buddhist hardliners attacking religious minority groups in the country which has just emerged from a three decades of ethnic war against the tamil tigers.
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