Intoxicated Monk Behind The Wheel
By Nirmala Kannangara
Last Week, a Buddhist monk was involved in a head on collision on the High Level Road in Pannipitiya was found to be under the influence of liquor.
Ven. Thripalagama Pannajeewa the Chief Incumbent of Gothami Viharaya, Jambugasmulla Mawatha, Nugegoda was involved in a head on collision with a Toyota Land Cruzer bearing registration number 31 Sri 4563 on Thursday, February 23 around 11 pm.
The monk was at the wheel in his metallic coloured Suzuki A-star car, bearing registration number WP KS 0593 and he was intoxicated at the time of the accident, Police Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said.
“I was on my way to Maharagama from Kottawa when this car came at high speed and crashed into my jeep. The car was coming towards Kottawa from Maharagama,” Jude Thyagarajah the driver of the Toyota Land Cruzer told The Sunday Leader.
According to Thyagarajah, it was this Buddhist monk who was behind the wheel and he was bleeding from his nose after the crash.
“I was on the left corner lane when the Suzuki car slammed in to my vehicle, turned many rounds before it came to a halt. When I went to his car to see as to what had happened, his head was on the steering wheel and the horn was beeping continuously. People from the area who rushed to the scene helped me to take the monk out of the car. At first since he could not stand on his feet I thought that he was seriously injured. It was the onlookers who told me that the monk was intoxicated and there were three bottles of arrack, a packet of cigarettes and some cans of beer together with a parcel of wild boar meat in his car,” Thyagarajah recounted.
Meanwhile, Ven. Pannajeewa had begged of Thyagarajah to let him go offering to pay him any sum of money he wanted.
Sources from the Colombo South General Hospital (Kalubowila Hospital) speaking on condition of anonymity told The Sunday Leader that a few cans of beer had fallen from the monk’s bag when the hospital staff was helping him get onto a stretcher.
“We wanted to put him to a special room but, after finding out that he was intoxicated and was carrying beer cans, we transferred him to a general ward. He had sustained compound fractures to his right hand and underwent an operation on Friday,” added the sources.
According to the sources, the monk had told hospital staff that he was on his way to the temple after attending a party where there had been booze a plenty.
According to the Maharagama police, the accident was due to negligence, dangerous driving and intoxication.