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WorldSri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon

04:05  24 may  2019
04:05  24 may  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon . Hundreds of his followers and dozens of monks waited for

A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk , accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and convicted of contempt of court, walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon . His pardon came a week after extremist Buddhists attacked Muslim-owned homes

Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images Sri Lankan General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara looks on at the Rukmalgama Temple in Rukmalgama, about 20 kms from Colombo on May 23, 2019. - A firebrand Sri Lankan Buddhist monk serving a six-year jail term for contempt of court was freed on May 23 following a presidential pardon, officials said. Galagodaatte Gnanasara was driven out of the Welikada prison hospital where he had spent much of his sentence since his first imprisonment in June last year.

A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail yesterday after a presidential pardon.

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COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of. His pardon comes a week after extremist Buddhists attacked Muslim-owned homes, mosques and shops in apparent reprisal for the

A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon . Hundreds of his followers and dozens of monks waited for hours outside Welikada prison in

Hundreds of his followers and dozens of monks waited for hours outside Welikada prison in Colombo to see Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, but the monk left through a separate gate, which a monk from his group said was due to security concerns.

Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images Sri Lankan General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara (R) speaks with Buddhist spiritual leader Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thero at the Rukmalgama Temple in Rukmalgama, about 20 kms from Colombo on May 23, 2019. - A firebrand Sri Lankan Buddhist monk serving a six-year jail term for contempt of court was freed on May 23 following a presidential pardon, officials said. Galagodaatte Gnanasara was driven out of the Welikada prison hospital where he had spent much of his sentence since his first imprisonment in June last year

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A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a He thanked Sri Lanka ’ s influential Buddhist clergy and President Maithripala Sirisena for his release.

A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon .

Rights activists condemned the release of Gnanasara, head of the hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or "Buddhist Power Force".

Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images Sri Lankan General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara (C) leaves after a meeting with Buddhist spiritual leader Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thero at the Rukmalgama Temple in Rukmalgama, about 20 kms from Colombo on May 23, 2019. - A firebrand Sri Lankan Buddhist monk serving a six-year jail term for contempt of court was freed on May 23 following a presidential pardon, officials said. Galagodaatte Gnanasara was driven out of the Welikada prison hospital where he had spent much of his sentence since his first imprisonment in June last year.

His pardon comes a week after extremist Buddhists attacked Muslim-owned homes, mosques and shops in apparent reprisal for the Easter bombings by Islamist militants that killed more than 250 people.

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COLOMBO — A Sri Lankan hard - line Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon . Hundreds of his followers and dozens of monks waited for hours outside

A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon .

Ganansara or his group was not involved in the recent violence, police said.

"We said about the impending danger long ago, finally whatever we revealed, has become true," Gnanasara told reporters, in an apparent reference to the Easter attacks.

Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon© Reuters/STRINGER Buddhist monk Gnanasara, head of the hardline Bodu Bala Sena or "Buddhist Power Force", speaks to media at a temple after leaving the prison with Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena's pardon in Colombo

He thanked Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist clergy and President Maithripala Sirisena for his release. There was no immediate answer from the president's office when Reuters sought comment.

Government ministers and Muslim leaders have accused Gnanasara of stirring up violence against Muslims and Christians before his imprisonment, allegations he has denied.

Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, said: "I think and hope he will not go back to his extremism."

Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images Sri Lankan General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara (R) leaves after a meeting with Buddhist spiritual leader Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thero (L) at the Rukmalgama Temple in Rukmalgama, about 20 kms from Colombo on May 23, 2019. - A firebrand Sri Lankan Buddhist monk serving a six-year jail term for contempt of court was freed on May 23 following a presidential pardon, officials said. Galagodaatte Gnanasara was driven out of the Welikada prison hospital where he had spent much of his sentence since his first imprisonment in June last year.
The monk was sentenced to six years in prison in August over a 2016 incident when he interrupted a court hearing about the abduction of the journalist in which military intelligence officials were accused.

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A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon . His pardon comes a week after extremist Buddhists attacked Muslim-owned homes.

A Sri Lankan hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and was convicted of contempt of court walked free from jail on Thursday after a presidential pardon .

Gnanasara was also sentenced in a separate case in June for having threatened the journalist’s wife.

Since 2014, the monk has faced accusations in cases regarding anti-Muslim violence, hate speech, and defaming the Koran.

Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images Sri Lankan General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara (C) leaves after a meeting with Buddhist spiritual leader Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thero at the Rukmalgama Temple in Rukmalgama, about 20 kms from Colombo on May 23, 2019. - A firebrand Sri Lankan Buddhist monk serving a six-year jail term for contempt of court was freed on May 23 following a presidential pardon, officials said. Galagodaatte Gnanasara was driven out of the Welikada prison hospital where he had spent much of his sentence since his first imprisonment in June last year.

That year, Gnanasara signed a pact with Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu, who once described himself as “the Burmese bin Laden”, in what the duo called a bid to counter regional conversion efforts by Islamists.

"Pardoning Gnanasara is a slap on the independence of the judiciary. He was convicted of interfering with court & contempt of court. No civilized nation will lightly pardon such a convict," J.C. Weliamuna, a rights lawyer, said in his tweet.


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