President Maithripala Sirisena met the jailed General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero at the Welikada Prison this morning.
The Chief Executive of the Right-Wing organisation Dilantha Withanage told RepublicNext that he got this information from a “reliable person who was there at the moment.”
Officials accompanying the President told RepublicNext that a meeting did take place in a room attached to the Prison Hospital.
Gnanasara Thero is serving a minimum 6-year Rigorous Imprisonment term for contempt of court on multiple charges.
Among them is the threatening of Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, inside the Gangodawila Magistrate’s court.
Withanage said that his organisation “believes the President would have discussed the current situation in the country with the Thero. We are told they had a 45-minute discussion.”
Numerous representations have been made to the President to release Gnanasara who is known for his extreme Sinhala Right Wing views.
He has been accused of whipping up mobs with his fiery rhetoric.
During the last regime, he received the patronage of the former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
It was widely speculated that Gnanasara would be released today.
The President’s Media division did not deny or confirm the story.
Gnanasara Thero is currently on duty at the Prison Hospital where he is assigned various tasks Withanage said.
President Sirisena was at the Prison for the annual pardon and release of prisoners for Vesak.
The Prison released 736 men and 26 women today (18).
The President exhorted them to ensure that they did not return to prison as inmates.
This is the first time that a Head of State has been present at the release of the prisoners.