• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Firebrand Sri Lanka monk jailed for intimidation

  • Published at 11:22 am June 14th, 2018
Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, head of Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), walks towards a prison bus while accompanied by prison officers after he was sentenced by a court for threatening Sandya Eknelygoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, in Homagama, Sri Lanka June 14, 2018 Reuters

Last year the monk spent a month on the run as police pursued him in connection with a string of attacks against Muslims

A firebrand Buddhist monk was sentenced to six months in jail by a Sri Lanka court on Thursday for intimidating a woman whose cartoonist husband has been missing since his abduction by the military.

The court in Homagama, near the capital Colombo, also fined Galagodaatte Gnanasara $10 and ordered him to pay $310 in compensation to Sandya Eknaligoda for abusing her in January 2016.

This is the first time Gnanasara has been put behind bars although he has faced several previous cases on charges of hate crimes against minority Muslims in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka.

He was found guilty of criminally intimidating Eknaligoda during a hearing at the same court on the abduction of her cartoonist husband Prageeth, who went missing in January 2010.

Gnanasara had been there to voice his support for the military officers accused of abducting Prageeth, whose cartoons lampooned former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse.

In ugly scenes inside the courthouse, he accused Eknaligoda and her husband of supporting Tamil extremists and bringing the military into disrepute.

Eknaligoda's perseverance in campaigning to find out what happened to her husband earned her an "International Women of Courage" award last year from US First Lady Melania Trump.

Following Thursday's sentencing, saffron-robed Gnanasara sat on a bench inside the packed courthouse awaiting a prison vehicle to take him away.

Last year the monk spent a month on the run as police pursued him in connection with a string of attacks against Muslims. He later surrendered and was granted bail.

His Buddhist Force, or BBS, has denied allegations it was behind riots against Muslims in 2017 and 2014 that left four people dead.

Gnanasara maintains close ties with Wirathu, an extremist monk based in Myanmar, whose hate speech has stoked religious tensions in the country.

Wirathu visited Sri Lanka as a guest of Gnanasara shortly after the 2014 violence in Sri Lanka's tourist resort of Aluthgama.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail