Sri Lanka's Galle Additional Magistrate Gunendra Kumara yesterday ordered Assistant Superintendent Police of Galle Upali Bandaranaike to arrest 26 identified suspects of the attack on two Christian religious places in southern tourist town Hikkaduwa.
Police submitted the report to the courts yesterday. According to the report 10 Buddhist monks are in the list of suspects who ransacked the property of two prayer centers of Assembly of God.
A group of extremist Buddhist monks and
laymen attacked two Christian religious centers on January 12 in Hikkaduwa, Sri
Lanka's tourist city in the south.
Buddhist Organizations in Hikkaduwa staged a protest in the area against Christian prayer centers operating in the region.
The monk-led mob resisted the police and destroyed the property hurling
stones at the two prayer centers. The mob broke doors, windows and burnt
religious signs and books.
Local media videoed the violence and broadcast in the evening news on TV channels.
The residents of these religious places were threatened and the police
temporarily closed the main Galle Road as residents entered the Galle
Road passing the Hikkaduwa town.
The Buddhist monks that led the protest said that the administrative authorities had ordered the prayer centers withdrawn.
However, the pastors in charge of these centers said they were registered duly and the eviction order is illegal.
The rising religious intolerance from extremist Buddhist monks-led
organizations in Sri Lanka has raised alarms among the moderate public
and if authorities fail to take adequate measures to curtail the
violence the actions of thes extremist groups would have serious
consequences, civil society leaders warn.