by Cyril Wimalasurendre
Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, MP, says he will not give up his fast, launched yesterday in Kandy, until his goal is achieved.
His protest commenced opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa, to crank up pressure on the government to remove Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Sally from their posts.
Before launching the protest Rathana Thera participated in an Adhistana pooja.
Earlier this week, Rathana Thera said he had granted a 24-hour period for Rishad Bathiudeen to resign as a minister.
Rathana Thera arrived at the Dalada Maligawa around 9 am along with a large number of bhikkhus respresenting the National Sangha Council and attended the morning pooja at the Maligawa. Thereafter, around 10.15 am he arrived at the flag-post of the Maligawa and commenced the fast.
Rathana Thera said that President Maithripala Sirisena was empowered to remove ministers and governors. The two governors and the Minister are accused of having had links to Islamic fundamentalists.
Rathana Thera also demanded that an independent committee be appointed to probe the allegations against Dr Safi Sihyabdeen of Kurunegala.