Police move to stop fast to death campaign

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 June 2005, 17:36 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police moved to disrupt the fast unto death campaign led by Ven Dambara Amila Thera, the president of the extremist National Bhikku Front (NBF) Wednesday afternoon at 6.30 PM, sources in Colombo said. Police with the support of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) carried the monk from his campaign location in front of Colombo Fort Railway station to a waiting ambulance and drove him to Colombo General Hospital for treatment.

Protest organised by NBF

Protest organised by NBF
A protesting student with battons in his backpack
Security in the city of Colombo has been put on high alert, Police said. Several police officers and soldiers from armed forces are patrolling various key locations to prevent any untoward incident, Police sources added.

Around 150 demonstrators including buddhist monks and students from Kelaniya, Peradeniya and Jeyawardenepura Universities participated in the protest campaign.

The protest gathered momentum as Prime Minister Mr. Mahinda visited the fasting monk on Wednesday.

Buddhist prelate of the Malwatte Chapter also sent urgent messages through a representative to convince Ven Amila Thera to give up his fasting, but the monk refused to suspend his campaign, sources said.

Meanwhile, University students of Kelaniya University held a demonstration against Joint Mechanism in front of the Kelaniya University Wednesday, sources said. Sri Jeyawardnepura Univeristy students were also seen protesting at their University against the Joint Mechanism. Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) workers also protested against Joint Mechanism.

Ven Amila Thera from the NBF initiated his fast unto death campaign last Saturday when the Ven Omalpe Sobihtha Thera, General Secretary of the JHU quit his fast to death campaign following Sri Lanka’s President’s assurances to Mahanayake Theras, the High Priests of the Buddhist Order in the country, that she will not sign the Joint Mechanism without approval from the high priests.

After returning from the hospital Wednesday, Sobhitha Thera met with Mahanaka Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters and told the media that his party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) was prepared to join hands with the JVP to form a common platform against the Joint Mechanism.

Ven Sobitha Thera said on Wednesday that there is no need for separate mechanism to deal with tsunami victims in the NorthEast and that everyone in Sri Lanka need to be treated equally.

 

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