Ruwan Laknath Jayakody
President of the Sihala Ravaya, Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thera, including all the monks of the Sihala Ravaya, have been temporarily banned from engaging in protests.
The order was made by the Chief Magistrate, Colombo, Gihan Pilapitiya, during the hearing held on Thursday (30). The order had been made in relation to the protest organized by the Sihala Ravaya that was held on Wednesday (8) in front of the Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne’s office. The decision to temporarily ban the Sihala Ravaya from protesting would be effective until the end of the trial.
Sihala Ravaya members are charged with causing public turmoil by behaving chaotically and also trying to forcibly enter the Prime Minister’s office. A scuffle had ensued between the police and the protesters at the time the protest was held. The Sihala Ravaya will be marching from Kandy to Colombo against the slaughter of cattle on Sunday (9) February. National Convener of the movement, Ven. Magalkande Sudhaththa Thera, told Ceylon Today that, “A march and a protest are different from each other. But we have a feeling that the police are trying to stop the march as well.”
“Previously, at the behest of the police, we presented 15 of our youth to the Court, and on Thursday (30), at the behest of the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD), four monks including myself presented ourselves before Court without summons or a warrant being issued. We obey the law of the land, but the police continue to insult us by arresting Sri Lankan youths. Yet, drug smugglers and dealers are roaming scot free, living their dastardly, decadent lives, and are left to freely proliferate their evil vices, while we who are protesting and fighting this scourge, are being curtailed. We are being harassed by the police and the Prime Minister’s cronies. They may stop us from protesting, but there are thousands of others – groups, organizations and individuals waiting out there to protest. We ask the government to withdraw this case and request the police to investigate the Prime Minister,” Sudhaththa Thera added.