Bhikku forced to sit-in due to police inaction against SLPP member | Sunday Observer

Bhikku forced to sit-in due to police inaction against SLPP member

A bhikku who was issued death threats by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) former Dimbulagala Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Jagath Samarawickrama alleges that the Police initially failed to take action against the suspect despite a complaint being lodged against him.

Samarawickrama had visited the Suriyadeva Rajamahavihara on Wednesday (6) and requested its chief incumbent Ven. Kimbulwane Seelananda thera to attend an SLPP meeting to be held in support of the party’s Presidential candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. “I am non partisan and had made a decision not to attend any political events, therefore, I declined to attend the meeting” the thera said. According to the thera, Samarawickrama had attempted to force the Bhikku to attend similar meetings on three previous occasions as well. “Since I am non partisan they believe if I attended such a meeting it would influence others to support their candidate” he said.

In his complaint to the Siripura Police on the day of the incident, the bhikku had claimed that Samarawickrama had verbally abused him and threatened to kill him following his refusal to attend the meeting. “Among his many threats he said he would not allow me to have a meal in this Paludeniya village after November 16” he told the Sunday Observer.

“However, the police took no action against the suspect,” Seelananda thera alleged.

As the OIC of the Siripura Police continued to avoid the bhikku, the thera said he was forced to begin a sit-in at the Siripura Police on Thursday following the OIC’s failure to apprehend the suspect even as Samarawickrama was seen publicly attending meetings and rallies,

He was arrested the next day (8) by the Aralaganwila Police after the thera refused to leave the Siripura Police unless action was taken against Samarawickrama.

He was produced before the Dehiattakandiya Magistrate’s Court and was released on bail, police sources said.

According to the bhikku, political parties are trying to win votes of the Buddhist clergy in the area through monetary gifts. “Invitations for political meet