[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Pro-Muslim monk attacked in Sri Lanka

Watareka Vijitha Thero, a critic of hardline Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena, was found stripped naked near Colombo.

Last updated: 19 Jun 2014 17:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The assault comes after three Muslims were killed and many injured in riots blamed on BBS [Al Jazeera]

A Buddhist leader and fierce critic of hardliners blamed for attacks on Muslims, is in hospital after reportedly being abducted, stripped naked, and beaten.

Watareka Vijitha Thero, the leader of the Jathika Bala Sena who opposes the actions of Sinhala Buddhist hardliners Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), was abducted and assaulted in the outskirts of capital Colombo on Wednesday night.

Thero was found by a roadside in Panadura town. He was stripped naked, and his arms and legs were tied. His robe and wallet were found nearby. Shehan Kapuge, a local resident, said he had been told the the monk was thrown from a vehicle on Thursday morning.

The monk was taken to the National Hospital in Colombo. Dr Prasad Ariyawansha, the hospital's deputy director, told Al Jazeera: "The monk has suffered numerous cuts in his body and has experienced severe bruising."

Thero has been a strong critic of the BBS and has on several occasions been attacked by the group.

He was most recently verbally abused by the BBS general secretary, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, in front of media.


RELATED: Muslims killed in Sri Lanka mob attacks


Thero is a member of the ruling government’s United People's Freedom Alliance and is currently serving as a member of the Mahiyanagana Pradeshiya Sabha, or local council.

BBS has denied any involvement in the assault.

"This is just another step taken by opponents of the BBS to malign us. I can guarantee that our organisation has nothing to do with this attack," said Dilanthe Withanage, an executive committee member of the BBS.

The assault comes few days after hardline Buddhists hurled petrol bombs and looted homes and businesses in several Muslim towns in Sri Lanka, killing three Muslims and seriously wounding more than 80 people.

The attack was believed to have been carried by members of BBS, which has denied responsibility.

Ajith Rohana, a police spokesman, said on Thursday that the police were investigating but have not arrested any suspects.

330

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list