Batticaloa Buddhist priest on fast to death campaign

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 February 2006, 12:52 GMT]
Ven. Ampitiya Sumanarathna Thero, the chief priest of the Batticaloa Sri Mangalaramaya Buddhist Vihara, has begun a fast unto death campaign Monday at 9.30 am, protesting against lack of interest by authorities in resolving hardships faced by Batticaloa residents and for not providing adequate security to his temple, sources in Batticaloa said.

fasting of munk
Munk with police
"People of this region, affected by tsunami and war, face innumerable hardships. I have helped them as much as I could. But their problems have to be addressed by the Sri Lanka government. Though I had referred this matter many times to the key government officials, nothing has been done to improve the situation," the priest said.

"The funds allocated to the restoration of war affected religious places have not been disbursed due to the negligence of the officials" complained the fasting priest.

"The contractor for the building of a 'Darmasala' in this Vihara has swindled hundred thousands of rupees. Though I had written complaints regarding this to the district police authority, other officials, the ministry, Sri Lanka's President and others, no action has been taken so far," the priest complained.

He also said, that when he went to lodge a complaint at the Batticaloa police head office, he was attacked by the senior officer there, and that had made him to resort to this campaign.

Meanwhile, Hindu, Islam and christian clergy of the Multi-religious Federation, have afforded their support for the priest's protest, sources said.

The Batticaloa Police Commissioner Sri Jeyathilaka visited in person to request the priest to give up his fast and that he will convey his demands to the higher officials. But the priest had refused to do so, sources said.
Priest on fast

 

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