Eyewitness to desecration of temple arrested under fabricated charges - UPF Minister
[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 September 2008, 10:34 GMT]
Sri Lankan police in Grandpass, Colombo, arrested last Thursday a 29-year-old Tamil man who is the main eyewitness to the desecration of a Hindu temple by a Buddhist monk at de-Mel Watte in Colombo on 03 September. Up-Country People's Front parliamentarian and a Deputy Minister in UPFA, P. Rathakrishnan has condemned the act as a move by the police to intimidate a key witness. The Tamil community viewed the arrest as a fabricated charge, he said.
The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) is holding the eyewitness, Soundararajan Premananth, a three-wheel owner by profession, alleging involvement in the recent bus-bomb incident near Town Hall.
"It is only by removing the yellow robes of extreme racist monks, who cause disgrace to Buddhism and to those who practice it, the religious fundamentalism and the problems caused by it could be wiped out," the UPF minister told media urging the Asgiriya Malwatte prelates to take action against the Grandpass monk, who entered the Sri Muththumariamman temple and desecrated the statues, said Mr. Rathakrishnan.
The monk and two thugs who entered the temple and the Colombo Grandpass road, the Malwatte colony as the temple observed a consecration ceremony after extensive renovations. They were taken into custody and kept in remand prison by the Grandpass police.
The deputy minister who went to the site of the temple Wednesday morning requested the people and the devotees to be calm, promising that legal action will be taken against those who desecrated their temple. He also promised to the Malwatte and Asgiriya prelates and to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Mr. Rathakrishnan said that the religious heads should conduct inquiries against those in saffron, who resort to violence, and prohibit them from religious activities.