Maha Nayaka Theras seek Presidential pardon for Gnanasara Thera on Vesak

Tuesday, 21 May 2024 03:44 –      – 66

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BBS General Secretary, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera

Chief Prelates of the Malwathu and Asgiriya chapters of the Siyam sect, along with those of the Amarapura-Ramanna sect, have called on President Ranil Wickremesinghe to grant a Presidential pardon to the incarcerated Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, on Vesak Poya Day. In a letter dated 13 May to the President, the Chief Prelates highlighted that Gnanasara Thera had advocated for Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and had alerted Sri Lankan forces to various extremist activities occurring in the country. They noted that his actions assisted security officials in curbing the spread of certain extremist elements throughout the country.

The Maha Nayaka Theras also said that Gnanasara Thera’s actions were commended by the public and helped prevent communal conflicts. The Maha Nayaka Theras also highlighted his role as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for ‘One Country, One Law,’ noting that he provided essential recommendations to implement this policy in Sri Lanka.

“It is clear he worked with an understanding of national unity and mutual societal cohesion,” they said. Accordingly, they proposed the President pardon the Thera on Vesak Poya.

The Colombo High Court handed down a sentence of four years of rigorous imprisonment to Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera on 28 March for causing harm to national and religious harmony by making a threatening statement against the Kuragala Islamic religious site during a 2016 press briefing in Colombo.