Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage yesterday granted bail to General Secretary of the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero and four other Buddhist monks after Defence Secretary Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa intervened in the matter. Senior DIG Anura Senanayake who appeared for the police had not objected to granting bail to the monks.
When news about the attempt to arrest Gnanasara Thero and the other BBS monks started to spread, the defence secretary had contacted the Chief Justice.
The Chief Justice had informed the defence secretary that the matter was being carried out according to an understanding between the President and Gnanasara Thero. The defence secretary had denied the statement and had immediately contacted the President.
The defence secretary had explained to the President that since the Buddhists in the country are unaware of the agreement between the government and the BBS, they might get angry with the government for arresting the Buddhist monks.
The President realizing that his brother failed to understand politics, had said, “Do as you please.”
After consulting the President, the Chief Justice had informed the Fort Magistrate to release the Buddhist monks on bail after senior DIG Anura Senanayake presents the report prepared by him to court.
When the case was called, Anura Senanayake filed the report that was handed over to him by the Chief Justice the previous night at the Monash Hotel in Thalawathugoda. The report stated that the actions of the BBS have built displeasure among the international community towards Sri Lanka and that religious harmony has been greatly
According to the Penal Code in Sri Lanka, creating religious disharmony is an offense where the culprits could be arrested without a warrant. Bail cannot be granted for such an offence. The B report filed by the Slave Island Police says the monks had forcibly entered the venue of a news conference organized by persons of a different religion and had disrupted the proceedings. Bail cannot be granted for committing these offenses.
However, the Fort Magistrate is a supporter of the government and had granted bail to the monks. He had said that bail is granted since there were no objections to granting bail.