Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has directed Senior DIG Anura Senanayake to take into custody the Secretary of Bodhu Bala Sena, Ven. Galagodatte Gnanasara Thero and the organization’s theoretician, Dilantha Vithanage until the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions conclude in Geneva.
The Defence Secretary has also directed Senanayake to ensure that the two Bodhu Bala Sena leaders are not subjected to any harassment and to admit them to a paying ward at the Colombo National Hospital.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has asked the Defence Secretary to at least pretend to take some action against the Bodhu Bala Sena activists in order to give the impression to the international community that the government was acting against the organization. He has said that although the actions of Bodhu Bala Sena are favorable to the government locally, it created a negative impact on the country when trying to get the support of the Middle Eastern countries at the UNHRC.
The Defence Secretary has explained to the DIG that using a complaint by a Muslim on the halal issue or any other issue related to it to arrest the Bodhu Bala Sena activists could result in a clash between the Sinhalese and Muslims. He has observed that a complaint by a Buddhist monk should be used as the basis to arrest the Bodhu Bala Sena members.
Acting on the instructions, DIG Anura Senanayake has got a monk named, Ven. Heenatiye Samitha Theo to lodge a complaint with the Maharagama Police last Saturday. He is the national organizer of the movement, “The Wonder of Childhood That is Yours and Mine.”
The Thero has complained that his life was under threat by the Bodhu Bala Sena and that a youth attached to the movement had taken Rs. 1.2 million from him and was now evading payment. A youth has been arrested by the Maharagama Police following the complaint. Ven. Gnanasara Thero and Vithanage are to be arrested on a statement recorded by this youth.
It is also learnt that the Defence Secretary has assured the national organizer of Bodhu Bala Sena, Ven. Vitharandeniye Nanda Thero that he would continue to support the organization despite certain actions that would be taken in the next few days in order to give the impression that the government did not have any links with the organization. The Defence Secretary has added that the government was under pressure from the international community due to the actions of Bodhu Bala Sena.