Pro-Muslim Monk Attacked In Sri Lanka
A Buddhist leader and fierce critic of hardliners blamed for attacks on Muslims, is in hospital after reportedly being abducted, stripped naked, and beaten.
Watareka Vijitha Thero, the leader of the Jathika Bala Sena who opposes the actions of Sinhala Buddhist hardliners Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), was abducted and assaulted in the outskirts of capital Colombo on Wednesday night.
Thero was found by a roadside in Panadura town. He was stripped naked, and his arms and legs were tied. His robe and wallet were found nearby. Shehan Kapuge, a local resident, said he had been told the the monk was thrown from a vehicle on Thursday morning.
The monk was taken to the National Hospital in Colombo. Dr Prasad Ariyawansha, the hospital’s deputy director, told Al Jazeera: “The monk has suffered numerous cuts in his body and has experienced severe bruising.”
Thero has been a strong critic of the BBS and has on several occasions been attacked by the group.
He was most recently verbally abused by the BBS general secretary, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, in front of media.