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The Ven. Watareka Thera Saga

By Nirmala Kannangara and
Binoy Suriyaarachchi

Speculation is rife behind the arrest of the leader of the Jathika Bala Sena a fierce critic and hardliner Ven. Watareka Vijitha thero by the police on Wednesday after he was discharged from the National Hospital, Colombo. According to police, the whole incident was a fabricated story of the Thero to seek police security, as he had death threats.

A member of the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabhawa (MPS) speaking to The Sunday Leader on condition of anonymity said that Vijitha Threo had no necessity to seek police protection as he already had the necessary police protection for the past eight months. However, it was reported that the police security has been withdrawn a few weeks back.

Opposition Leader MPS, Vasantha Nayanajith, claims that Vijitha thero came under severe criticism for comparing Sinhalese and Muslims as one society at a bana preached in HaliElla.

“It is said that this monk has gone to a mosque and preached bana and has compared the two communities as one society. This made the Buddhist monks and the people to protest against him in front of the MPS and the monks at Mahiyanganaya in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on August 23, 2013 has informed him that they have expelled Vijitha Thero from the Sangha Council. Because of continuous threats he had he sought police protection,” added Nayanajith.

Nayanajith said that although he would not accept the thero’s conduct as a monk, he admires the thero’s political life as he is a straight forward local government member who always stood for the right.

“Since we know him for the past few years we do not believe that the thero wanted to hurt himself to put the blame on Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). Anyhow we know how critical he was of the BBS. If he wanted to blame the BBS he will do it openly. He is not a coward,” added Nayanajith.

On June 19, Vijitha Thero was found in Panadura lying unconscious stripped naked with cut wounds on his lower parts of the body. The monk in his statement to police from his hospital bed has said that he was abducted by some Buddhist monks and when he regained consciousness he was in a hospital bed.

However adding a twist, the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Colombo in his report according to police has stated that the injuries caused to the monk were self inflicted and the police on that basis arrested the monk after producing him at the Panadura Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

When The Sunday Leader visited Vijitha Thero at ward 17 at National Hospital last Tuesday, the police did not allow the reporters to speak to the monk instead said that the monk has confessed that he had self inflicted the injuries because he wanted to get police protection.

“The monk said that he had to hurt himself because he wanted to get police protection as he believes that there are threats to his life,” a CID officer said.

But, suspicious circumstances surrounding the claims made by the police emerged after a controversial observation made by the Thero few hours prior to he got arrested by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD), on the charges of making a false complaint to the police. Vijitha Thero did not give a statement to the police initially after the incident, and he remained silent to the media too.

In his statement to the media the Thero said that it was fanatic patriots (Unmaththaka Jathi Wadeen) were the people who spilled his blood. He further went on to say that the media and some other elements have shattered his good image by spreading false news.

“I never made any statements to the press before on this matter. But there were newspaper articles quoting me on the incident,” said Vijitha Thero.

The Thero said that his firm decision is to continue his journey until Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils in the country live in peace, harmony and mutual understanding of each other. However, inquiries carried out by the CCD have revealed the monk’s cut wounds were self-inflicted.

Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana told The Sunday Leader that this has been confirmed through the confessions made by the monk. The SSP added that the inquiring teams have found contradictions in the statements made to the police by Vijitha Thero.

“The claims made by the monk do not add-up. The police inquiring teams have also combed through his mobile phone records and road CCTV footage to gather evidence in this case,” said the SSP. According to police, the Thero had later confessed that he self-inflicted the wounds using a blade and a key. “Furthermore, the examination conducted by the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) has as well has confirmed the wounds were self-inflicted.” SSP Rohana said.

Vijitha Thero who is also a UPFA member of the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabhawa was found near the Hirana Bridge in Panadura with his hands and legs tied with saffron robes.

The Police suspected that the thero was abducted and later dumped at the location after being beaten. Vijitha Thero was initially admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Panadura Base Hospital, and later transferred to the Accident Ward of the Colombo National Hospital for further treatment.

An inquiring team attached to the Panadura police is reported to have visited Vijitha Thero at the National hospital, Colombo three times, but could not record the statement in connection with the incident.

14 Comments for “The Ven. Watareka Thera Saga”

  1. Dahanayake

    How could he carry out all these alone? If the whole story is true that the monk had self inflicted the wounds, there must be one or few supporters behind. So police must reveal them, as to who drove the vehicle. Especially, who tied up his hands. Also, at what place he injured himself, because there must be blood stains there. If police could not or do not reveal those points, this is quite surely yet another story made up by them. As long as the number of criminals had being killed while in police custody is concerned, and all the time they giving the same story that they had to kill him because the criminal tried to escape or kill policemen while showing the weapons is concerned, nor person of simple sound mind would believe our police and we are quite ashamed that the police is doing the bar…..c acts in the country. They might think that we are fools, but as a Buddhist and what I learnt in Buddhism, it is the police fools.

  2. THE DUKE

    AJITH ROHANA YOU ARE TOO BRILLIANT FOR SRI LANKA, YOU SHOULD BE WORKING FOR FBI.
    WHAT I’M SAD IS THAT THE MAGISTRATE HAS NOT ASKED THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE REMANDING THE MONK. BOTH THE POLICE AND THE JUDICIARY ARE TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BREAKDOWN OF LAW IN THIS COUNTRY BY ALLOWING THE GUTTER POLITICIANS TO ACHIEVE THEIR CRIMINAL DESIRES.

  3. Lal.Fernando.

    My Dear Vijitha Thera. I am a Roman Catholic. I respect every religion.Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammad all preached harmony and peace. Let live in peace and harmony.Dear Vijitha Thera go to the Muslim Community sit with them and just have a glass of water and make peace.Lets all of us live in harmony and peace.Lets teach our younger generation how to co exist with each other.

    • Lkcricket

      Mr Lal Fernando

      A peace loving man can live peacefully only with a man who can understand peace! Muslims are the bloody barbarians in the world who have threaten the peace and harmony in the world. Thankfully Christians have got rid of that mind set but Muslims will never understand the meaning of peace!

      If we are seeking a peaceful society that society should be with out single Muslim!

    • tuan

      agreen and wel said brother

    • Yasin

      Mr.Lal, perhaps you have just woken up from a deep slumber. Rev.Vijitha Thero is paying for what he did ie: trying to bring peace among the communities

  4. Ma Per

    “Eka Mawakage Daruwo” – this means Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims (Islam), Christians are one – we are children of one mother. Then why are the BBS against Watareka?

  5. sukirichuti

    DUKE has stated quite correctly that the Judiciary and Police are taking the general public for a ride. These two institutions have brought disrepute to the nation and we look fools before the eyes of the international community.

  6. Vijitha monks must admitted in the prison hos[pital,he is acriminal person, to day srilanka isloted country in the world.

  7. Avb

    If Dalai Lama or Ajan Cha were born in Siri Lanka, they would be burn alive by Sinhalese Buddhists..

  8. Sman

    Insanity has doubled in some individuals. Ven Vatareka is a real Buddhist monk who has a good heart. He would not involve in such an act as far as I feel. Can any sensitive individual think of circumcising self ? It is unbelievable and hope he would reveal the truth one day.

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