2ND LEAD

Buddhist monk on fast-unto-death, demands colonisation of Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 September 2010, 09:26 GMT]
A Sinhala Buddhist monk, Ven. Ampitya Sumanaratna Thero, has been on a fast-unto-death campaign demanding construction of Buddhist temples in the predominantly Tamil-speaking Batticaloa district with Saivites, Christians and Muslims. The monk, who has on the fast-unto-death campaign for 3 days also demands appointment of Sinhala officers to Batticaloa District Secretariat, Divisional offices and Courts. The extremist monk said he would end his campaign only when Basil Rajapaksa, the brother of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, promises action on the demands and extends in person an apology for 'defaming' him in front of two former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leaders.

The fasting monk, who is the prelate of Batticaloa Sri Mangalaramya Vihare and the Deputy Chief Sanganayake of Batticaloa-Ampaarai districts, said he was scolded by Basil Rajapaksa Sunday during his visit to Batticaloa when he attempted to make representation to the latter, in front of two former LTTE leaders Vinayagamorthy Muralitharan who is a Deputy Minister in the Rajapaksa government and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Chief minister of Eastern Provincial Council (EPC). He has demanded Basil Rajapaksa to appoint a Sinhala person as the organizer of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the district.

Ampitya Sumanaratna Thero who claims that he has been working to preserve Buddhism in Batticaloa district for the last sixteen years when there were no others, also demands renovation of damaged Buddhist temples, construction of new Buddhist temples and the speedy 'resettlement' of 'displaced' Sinhala families in Batticaloa district besdies more facilities to Buddhist monks working in the district promoting Buddhism.

The monk had waged a similar fast on August 6 placing demands detrimental to communal amity and harmony in the district.

Sumanaratna Thero was earlier accused for encouraging child abuse, consumption of liquor and misbehavior with girls inside his Buddhist temple in Batticaloa, according to the residents in the area.


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