2nd Lead (Update)

Armed Tamil youth arrested in Buddhist temple

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 July 2004, 18:36 GMT]
Hingurakgoda Police said Tuesday morning that the arrested youth had in their possession three T- 56, three T - 84 type assault rifles and a T - 81 special assault rifle. They also had six hand grenades. A van and a car in which they had traveled were also seized from the Bubula temple, Police said.

Sri Lanka army's US trained Special Forces were camped by the Bubula Buddhist temple until recently, sources said. The Special Forces have been involved in many deep penetration operations into LTTE held areas in the Batticaloa district in the past.

The chief monk of the Bubula temple (Bodhirukkarama Vihara) was a candidate of the JHU in the Polannaruwa District at the elections to Parliament in April this year.

Police took into custody fourteen Tamil youth armed with several assault rifles from a Buddhist temple in the village of Bubula in Hingurakgoda in the Pollannaruwa District Monday evening. The chief monk of the Bubula temple is a member of Jathika Hela Urumaya(JHU), the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist party. Polannaruwa borders the Batticaloa District. The Bubula monk told Police that the Tamil youth were bound for the east but that he was unaware that they were armed.

The monk claimed that the youth were sent to him by the JHU headquarters in Colombo, Police sources said.

Meanwhile, around midnight a source at the Hingurakgoda Police said the arrested youth were yet to be brought to the station.

Meanwhile, media sources in Hingurakgoda said frantic moves were afoot Monday evening to get youth released.

They are suspected to members of a paramilitary which is backed by Sri Lanka army intelligence, the media sources said.

The Tigers have accused this paramilitary of murdering their cadres, a journalist and an academic in Batticaloa.


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