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Sri Lanka launches manhunt for radical Buddhist monk

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s police on Thursday launched a manhunt for controversial Buddhist monk Galagodaththe Gnanasara who is wanted in connection with a spate of hate attacks in the past month.

A statement from the police headquarters said several units were deployed to track down the monk who leads the Bodu Bala Seaana (BBS) after the Colombo magistrate ordered the impounding of his passport.

"He is wanted in connection with the obstruction of police officers, hate speech and several other cases," the police statement said.

The statement came as the BBS held a press conference at a temple in Rajagiriya and announced that the monk had gone into hiding fearing that he could be assassinated after being arrested by the police.

"The monk is at a secret location and we have told him not to come out, " BBS spokesman Dilantha Vithanage said.

Police said they wanted to record a statement from the monk after receiving more than a dozen complaints of hate speech against him.

He already faces charges of contempt for causing a disturbance inside a court and failed to show up on Wednesday to answer allegations of contempt. The Court of Appeal was told by the monk’s lawyer that he was unwell, but Vithanage said he did not show up because he feared for his life.

The BBS was accused of instigating the latest wave of violence against mosques and Muslim-owned businesses.
(COLOMBO, May 25 2017)

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