This is Sri Lanka : Magistrate To Withdraw From Case Due To Monks’ ‘Hooliganism’

Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today rejected the bail application filed on behalf of Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera and informed that he intended to withdraw from the case.

The Magistrate informed the court that he had already sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding the possibility of withdrawal from the case. “I will not change a decision I have taken, even if someone holds a gun to my head and threatens me” the Magistrate said, announcing his rejection of the bail application. “If I am wrong, anyone could complain to the higher officials” he added.

The Magistrate said he would receive the opinion of the Attorney General’s Department before the next hearing of the case. A day before he made the announced, the Magistrate directed the Police to arrest everyone who behaved in an unruly manner near the Magistrate Court premises on Tuesday.

There is enough room to speculate that the ‘hooliganism’ displayed by a group of Buddhist monks and their supporters led to the Magistrate’s decision to withdraw from the case. Dassanayake is known in the legal fraternity as a straight-forward and an independent judge who doesn’t bow down to political pressures and other external forces.

Attorney-at-Law Sumudu Kantha Hewage filed the appeal for bail through a motion this morning. On January 26, Gnanasara Thera was remanded till February 9 by the Homagama Magistrate on several charges including contempt of court and threatening public officials.

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