The Sri Lankan government, on Wednesday said the police were continuing search operations to hunt for a controversial Buddhist monk who was wanted for making alleged hate speeches and attacks against the minorities in the island country.
Cabinet Spokesperson, Rajitha Senaratne said according to information, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero,was in the country but was still in hiding.
“I do not know why there is a delay but police are continuing to search for him,” Senaratne said.
He added that there was an arrest warrant against the monk.
Gnanasara Thero’s party is accused of instigating a recent wave of hate attacks against the country’s Muslim minority.
“He is wanted in connection with obstruction of justice, hate speech and several other crimes,” the police said in a statement recently.
His party, the BBS says Gnanasara had gone into hiding, fearing he could be assassinated.
“The monk is at a secret location,” BBS spokesman Dilantha Vithanage told reporters in Colombo last week.
“We have told him not to venture out as he could be assassinated after he is arrested.”
Amidst a recent spate of attacks against minority Muslim owned businesses and hate speeches, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development, Harsha De Silva said on Tuesday visited the site of yet another attack when unidentified men set ablaze a Muslim owned shop in Nugegoda.
De Silva instructed the Police OIC and other officers of the Mirihana police to keep no stone unturned in the investigation. “I understand there are several CCTV cameras in the vicinity,” he said in a Facebook post.
“If it is found it was an act of arson to disturb the ethnic harmony in that area, then, there will not be any let off. None whatsoever. I am determined to rid the area I represent of such terrorists so that we can enjoy a peaceful coexistence now and in to the future,” the Deputy Minister said.