26 September, 2020

Blog

A Buddhist Monk Who Abused A Female Govt Officer Is Being Protected By Political Influence

By Colombo Telegraph

“Send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about Sujani Weerakkodi case requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of violence against women and refusing justice for the victim by a religious priest and state officers and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of a state.” urges the Asian Human Rights Commission.

Issuing a Urgent Appeal AHRC says its has received information that Ms. Sujani Weerakkodi, a government employee working as a Science and Technology Officer was verbally abused and physically assaulted by a senior Buddhist monk at her offices on 22 January. Her immediate superior and the police refused to take action against the monk due to his political influence and the victim was later abused at both the Gampola and Kandy hospitals.

We publish below the statement in full;

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Ms. Sujani Weerakkodi, a government employee working as a Science and Technology Officer was verbally abused and physically assaulted by a senior Buddhist monk at her offices on 22 January. Her immediate superior and the police refused to take action against the monk due to his political influence and the victim was later abused at both the Gampola and Kandy hospitals. Furthermore the doctors and nurses tried to portray her as being mentally unbalanced due to the monk’s interference.

This is the second case of a Buddhist monk abusing women and then hiding behind his authority within two weeks and it speaks ill of the government of Sri Lanka in that it allows such incidents to happen without offering redress to the victims.

This case is yet another illustration of the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in the country.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Ms. Sujani Weerakkodi ( 34) of No: 343/A, Kahawatugoda, Murutalawa (Peradeniya) in the Kandy District is a married woman working as a Science and Technology Officer attached to the Udapalathe Vidatha Resource Center under the Ministry of Technology and Research. Her husband, Sanjeewa Dharmaratne is a businessman.

According to the victim, on 22 January 2013, while she was performing her duties at her office at Gampola, Bowela Wimaladhamma Thero, the present owner of the rented office premises suddenly appeared at the office and abused her verbally using filthy language. The Thero, has, to-date, never explained the reason for his tirade. Ms. Sujani states that she has always carried out her official duties diligently and had a cordial relationship with her fellow staff members and the people who come for her services. She states that although the official premises belong to the Thero the rental contract of the premises is departmental matter and she has never been involved with any of these concerns. She further says that she has not, in any way, done any wrong to the Thero and was shocked by his behaviour. While he was ranting at her she asked for the reason for his abuse. Rather than explain he simply continued to shout at her in a threatening manner.

The Thero threatened her; telling her not to deal with him in the same manner in which she deals with her staff. He continued to act in a very violent manner by assaulting her and throwing a chair about the room. When she tried to shout in order to call for help, the Thero kicked the chair on which she was seated causing her to knock her head against the wall. Though it caused severe pain in her head, she managed to make a call to her husband and informed him about the assault. Her husband who heard the threatening voice of the Thero over the phone, instructed her to make a complaint to her immediate boss, the Divisional Secretary (DS).

Even though she went to the office of the DS to complain, the man totally ignored her. Hence, she waited at DS’s office for her husband to come. He arrived at around 11am with her aunt and they met the DS and asked him to handle the matter in his official capacity. However, he refused to take any action against the Thero, saying that the Thero is very powerful and that he is the Adikarana Sanga Nayaka (Chief Leader of the Buddhist discipline matters in the region). Moreover, he asked her to apologize to the Thero since he is a reverend.

Then, they went to the Gampola Police Station and lodged a complaint regarding the incident. The police officers then gave a note for her to get admitted to the Gampola Government Hospital.

By that time she complained of feeling ill and as if she wanted to vomit and was dizzy. Without treating the head injuries, the nurse injected her with something and she slept for the rest of the day.

When she awoke the next day there was a lady at her bed, shouting and disturbing her. The victim then complained to the doctor and the doctor removed the lady from her bedside but she constantly returned and irritated her. The woman accused her as being mentally ill. When her husband arrived he asked the nurses whether he could keep someone with her in the hospital to look after her, but they refused his request.

The husband attempted to get her discharged but nurses refused this so the husband went to the Human Rights Commission (HRC)’s Regional Office in Kandy and lodged a complaint against the Thero, the Officer in Charge of the Police Station (OIC) of Gampola and its officers, Divisional Medical Officers and Gampola Government Hospital (DMO) stating that Gampola Police Station, failed to investigate her complaint (C.I.B. 3 178/352) and that the Gampola Government Hospital failed to give her proper treatment after she was admitted.

Later Ms. Sujani’s husband returned to the hospital and took her to the Kandy Teaching Hospital where she was treated by Dr. Ranjith Wickramasinghe, the Neurologist for her head injuries.

In the Kandy Teaching Hospital she underwent a CT scan but continued to complain of dizziness. On 25 January the victim saw a nurse whom she identified as a nurse from Gampola Government Hospital, giving instructions to a nurse in her ward. Hence the victim got scared and made a call to her husband, requesting him to remove her from the hospital. Thereafter according to the victim, they kept her on the floor and harassed her by saying that she was insane. Some nurses threatened her by saying that police would arrest her.

Since she was not able to tolerate this harassment she made a complaint to the Hospital Police Post and asked them to record a statement. The police officers promised to do so but never acted.

Later on the morning of 26 January a nurse came and tried to give her an injection but Ms. Sujani refused. The nurse then dragged her to a chair to which she tied the victim and injected her against her will. That night she was left to sleep on the floor again.

The next day when Sanjeewa, the victim’s husband came to see her with a retired teacher, the victim was still on the floor, unconscious and half naked. Sanjeewa took photographs of the victim’s condition but the nurse from Gampola Hospital arrived dressed in casual clothes and shouted at the husband not to take photographs.

The same day a Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) examined her and further made a referral for a Consultant of the Psychiatric Unit. She was examined on 28 January and asked her to come with a relation. The Psychiatric Consultant confirmed that she was perfectly well and that she is not in need of any treatment.

Ms. Sujani was asked by the Gampola Police Station to come to the station for an inquiry on 30 January at 10am and when they went to the police station, the officers said that the Thero had already left and that the inquiry was over. Furthermore, the police officers told her that they cannot do anything against the Thero as he is politically very powerful.

The victim’s husband then complained to the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Kandy but so far the police have neither arrested the Thero nor made any progress in the investigation. The victim and her family feel that she will not get any justice as the police will not conduct any investigation into her complaint as the Thero will influence the police, the doctors and even the DS.

The victim who is still suffering from head injuries seeks justice and redress. She feels that she was harassed by the Buddhist monk and that his influence extended to the Gampola and Kandy hospitals as the hospital authorities tried to present her as a psychiatric patient.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has reported innumerable cases where state law enforcement agencies have shown the breakdown of law in investigating crimes and bringing the suspected persons before the law so that they may be punished after successful criminal proceedings. The victims of crimes face enormous harassment, and on some occasions the witness and the victims have been killed by the perpetrators. The AHRC has continuously urged the state of Sri Lanka for the necessity of adopting a witness protection law and implementing a successful witness protection mechanism to verify the smooth running of rule of law system. The state of Sri Lanka is bound to implement the legal provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as it has signed and ratified the convention. Nevertheless the lack of protection offered to those who are willing to take cases against criminals, abusive police officers and the state authorities, means that the law is under-used and this continues to be employed as a tool by the police to harass people. This not only takes a long-term toll on the victim and his or her family, but on society as a whole, by undermining civilian respect for the law and encouraging impunity.

Further state of Sri Lanka has sign and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). However the state agencies have failed to implement the protective laws towards the women effectively.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of violence against women and refusing justice for the victim by a religious priest and state officers and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of a state. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department. Further, please also request the NPC and the IGP to have a special investigation into the malpractices of the police officers for abusing the state officers’ powers.

Please note that the AHRC has also written a separate letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women on this regard.

Click here to sign Urgent Appeal

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. N K Illangakoon

Inspector General of Police

New Secretariat

Colombo 1

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877

E-mail: igp@police.lk

2. Mr. Sarath Palith Fernando

Attorney General

Attorney General’s Department

Colombo 12

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2 436421

E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

3. Secretary

National Police Commission

3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers

109 Galle Road

Colombo 03

SRI LANKA

Tel: +94 11 2 395310

Fax: +94 11 2 395867

E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk

4. Secretary

Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission

No: 165 Kynsey Road,

Borella, Colombo 8.

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2694924

Email: sechrc@sltnet.lk

Related posts;

Police Refuses To Arrest Monk Accused Of Raping A Woman

Pahalagama Somarathana Sentencing Remarks: Penetration Of The Vagina Of A 9-Year-Old In The Presence Of The Buddha

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    It is very alarming that this type of behaviour by monks seems to be commonplace. I wonder what has happened to make them diverge from the teachings of the dhamma. It points to the decay of society and values in sri lanka.

  • 0
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    What are Colombo women’s NGOs doing about this? They get BIG money from donors and consume them on hot air talk shops – wake up Women and Media and do a jig – at least earn your foreign trips

  • 0
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    This trend of unlawful behaviour by monks appears to be on the increase.
    The Divisional Secretary has ignored the assault.
    Law enforcement personnel appear to be reluctant to take lawful action against such monks.
    The JMO too has avoided his responsibility by referring her to a psychiatric consultant,but on latter’s opinion,he should have reexamined her – recording the history and examining her for physical signs & symptoms of assault/trauma – but this appears not to have been done.
    He appears to have avoided recording the history as related by the victim.
    The monk is said to own the premises – many monks own property – and this is against rules laid down by The Buddha for his disciples.
    The minister in charge should take up this matter.

  • 0
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    After the impeachment of the Chief Justice and the appointment of the Cheap Justice, every monk on the road and every person with a iron rod or a gun or a knife has become the Chief Justice of the country. Who is to be blamed?

  • 0
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    Wonder what all the proud Sinhalese Buddhists, who talk about the grand 2000+ year history and culture of the Buddha, have to say about their Most Venerable Buddhist representatives nowadays?

    I guess none of them are interested in reading this article and commenting on this, because they are too busy pointing fingers at the minorities who are “ruining their great civilisation”…

  • 0
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    These yellow robe …

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
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      Where is Jayantha today? Try as many pseudos as possible to be heard is wasting ones time . Posting explosive comments will only catch the eyes of the moderator before being published. One name either a pseudonym or actual name will be enough to get decent comments printed on this webpage. I’m sure all the authors will agree with me.

      • 0
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        Hai, Olympian,

        Why you get hurt when I write the truth and nothing but the truth, when so many readers appreciate my genuine and open comments, that you don’t digest.

        Well I hope CT will publish this comment on the above subject.

        First as I wrote before The leopards won’t change thair spots by wearing a yel…..low robes.

        Second leopards also won’t change their sopts even though they were civilised, educated and taught by the British on good governance, education, Culture, democracy, liberty, Human rights, Freedom of speach, equal rights, select their leaders through jenuine elections, minority rights and proper economic and business ethics.

        But what do you think we have today……other than a government that not the people selected…..but they got selected themselves by rigging our ballet papers which are still be found in the roadsides.

        Economic development through 10% or more commission and distributing “Eta Paha” five seed variety packets which are never be grown to public stealing 85 Billion rupees….while firing the Chief justice who opposed it.

        I could write a history of the Leopards, sankes, and foxes….but don’t want to waste my time.

        Please tell your Big boss that my wife reminded me to tell him to bring some BANDAKKA, WAMBOTU, POTATOES, ONION, GARLIC, RED CHILLI, PARIPPU (Dhal) ……and a few saries and Saronga when he comes from India fun tour so that she won’t keep me and my family starved and go naked in public.

        Finally I suggest you to advise your boss to build some Goats,kettle, camel and Mare farms near Temples to cater y….w r…..s depends on their built and manpower.

        PLEASE CONVEY THIS MESSAGE TO HIM.

  • 0
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    A real Whacko! Who are those responsible for making him such a violent person? Go, ask yourself. It is the people who fall flat on their faces in their presence and worship them at their feet. Paying homage and obeisance to these big time sinners, who preach by day, and breach their own laws at night. Shameless scumbags. Even the police officers (supposed to be of more sturdier stuff) cannot do anything to help the poor victims. People have been kept scared and wary of these misfits and their withcraft (Gurukan) capabilities, and therefore don’t want to evoke their wrath on them and therefore choose to ignore their ill-mannerism and bad behaviour, which has reached a new time high. There will come a time when they take the law into their own hands and pour out onto the streets in protest, at which time the state will use all their firepower to quell the violence, at which time these hooligans will be brought down back to earth again. I wish that day comes soon, until then, we all will have to put up with these bedevilled monks.

  • 0
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    WHAT DISGUSTING SITUATION WITH THESE ROTTEN TO THE CORE SAFFRON ROBED TERRORISTS WHO NOW WANT TO HARASS, MAIM AND TORTURE THEIR OWN BUDDHIST WOMEN, ONE CAN IMAGINE WHAT TORTURE THEY WOULD GIVE WOMEN OF OTHER CASTES, OVER TO THE BODU BALA FOR MORE GREASE AND FIRE DOWN THE THROATS OF INNOCENT WOMEN WHO HAVE T SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF THESE ROGUES CLOAKED IN YELLOW, TO HELL WITH THE POLICE DOGS NOT TAKING ACTION TO ALEVIATE THE SUFFERINGS OF SUCH PATHETIC CASES.
    THIS IS NO DOUBT THE FAILED MISERABLE PARIAH STATE OF THE CLOWNS.

  • 0
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    Is this what you mean by: “sanghaanu Bhaavena vinaasamenthu?” Time has come to protect not only the Saasana but also our women folk from this type of saffron clad thugs. Why is Bodu Bala Sena silent on such matters. What a bloody Dharma Dvipa is this?

  • 0
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    BADU BALU SENA BETTER PROTECT BUDDHISM FROM THESE SAFFRON ROBED THUGS AND RAPISTS, INSTEAD OF QUARRELING WITH MUSLIMS WHO ARE JUST MINDING THEIR BUSINESS.MEN IN SAFFRON INDULGING IN EVERYTHING OTHER THAN
    BANA PREACHING AND PIRITH CHANTING.SHOULD BE DISROBED IN PUBLIC
    THE THREAT TO BUDDHISM IS FROM BALU SENA

    • 0
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      I think BORU BANA SEWA is more like it, ha, ha, ha, What a hooligan. Deserves a Mrs. Bobbit style castration. All rapists must be given serious punishment worthy of the crime, so that they will shudder to repeat it, and also becomes an effective deterrent to other potential rapists. Women too must be cautious when approaching these sex starved maniacs, behaving more like incarcerated men, who only need a hint of weakness for them to use coercive tactics, seductive modus including blackmail, also may be exploitation of their weaknesses in personal life, (husband drunkard, unsettled loans, etc.), to ultimately forcibly fulfill their insatiable carnal desires. Celibacy is a farce. It is more a curse than a blessing. May be, a few can bear pangs of hunger, but no one on earth, in all honesty, can bear the pangs of sexual desire until fulfillment is achieved through self masturbation or fornication in secret, and that is the truth. So much so for those sinner monks who preach ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

  • 0
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    I think this was nicely fabricated story. Instead of seeking help from the so called N,G,O, Why she/her husband didn’t inform directly to IGP, or the regional office of HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION at KANDY. It is the government body which so comfortable to reach the any body rather than seeking this N.G.O.
    samarasekara

    • 0
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      they complained to the DIG. im assuming that a police force that does their job doesnt need victims to go to the head of the organization to get legal redress.

      nice comment: put the blame on the victim, not the police, who have been politicized for decades now.

  • 0
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    Yes Samarasekera. Surely, it should be another International Conspiracy!

  • 0
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    Hey Samarasekera complain anything to about Saffron robed terrorist to the IGP result will be Zero, even IGP is afraid of these saffron robes.

  • 0
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    We need to check the facts in your comment. We have already sent an email to you – CT

    • 0
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      from year 1978 to on word, I am living in KANDY,the central capital of hill country. Therefore I familiar with the places called GAMPOLA, PERADENIYA, HEERASSAGALA(REGIONAL OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION IN KANDY) MAHAIYAYA(n.g.o. Asian Human Rights Commission.)

      Because I was not there where the incidence took place, A am not or for the against of the incidence. My argumentation is being the knowledgeable person instead of going to REGIONAL OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION IN KANDY, why she/her husband went to the N.G.O (Asian Human Rights Commission.) More or less all person in KANDY know the difference between REGIONAL OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION IN KANDY and N.G.O Asian Human Rights Commission. In order to visit above N.G.O. in MAHAIYAWA,they have to pass the REGIONAL OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION IN KANDY. which situate in HEERASSAGALA. That is why I am telling this is a fabricate story.

      samarasekara

      • 0
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        Samare, c’mon! what a way to summarilly dismiss the case as a fabrication, purely based on venue of complaint, ignoring all the other purported incidents of pain, agony and disgrace borne by the victim, just to save your monk. There could be at least a hundred reasons for this lapse, bearing in mind that our own policemen (first port of call) refused to record her complaint, due to the buddy connection between the suspect monk and the all powerful local politician of that area. I am sure you would not come to such conclusions if this victim happened to be your mother, sister, daughter or an in-law. You will of course then know the pain. What this victim has come forward is for justice, for her and all women like her suffering in silence, unable to bear out the truth in order to guard and protect their own families from going to pieces, and these monks getting away with blue murder. Shame on you and your ilk.

      • 0
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        It was very clear that her husband went to the ” Human Rights Commission (HRC)’s Regional Office in Kandy and lodged a complaint” and this Human Rights Commission is the government commission where Mr Viranjan is the head, and not an NGO. The husband of the victim has the complaint no with him and according the instructions of the Human Rights commission only she was forcefully discharged from the Gampola hospital.

        When everything was going wrong only, the husband approached the Asian Human Rights Commission branch office.

  • 0
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    Hamuduru’s have become rowdies now.Political Hamuduru’s go against Buddha.Shame to the country.

    Shakuntala,why are you expecting NGOs to act.They will use this also to make big money.There must be a uprising of Non-NGO civil society,which is lacking at present.

  • 0
    0

    It is not only the Hamuduruwo but all the other scoundrels that lick his backside that is so damning in this case. Lets make a list.

    1. District Secretary.
    2. Police in Gampola and the hospital.
    3. DIG Kandy (Inaction on a complaint)
    4. Nurses at the local hospital.
    5. Nurses at the teaching Hospital in cahouts with the Nurse from the local hospital.
    6. Incompetance of the doctors and lack of care at both hospitals.

    All bowing and scrapping to this evil regime and its satraps. This is what has become to this once proud and efficient government service. All in ruins.

  • 0
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    THE RUHUNU ROGUES HAVE BROUGHT US TO THE BRINK. IS THERE A GOVERNMENT?
    POLICE IS PROTECTING THE CRIMINALS INSTEAD OF THE PEOPLE VICTIMIZED.
    ELECTIONS COMMISSIONER UNABLE TO CONDUCT A FAIR AND FREE ELECTION.
    COMMISSIONER OF EXAMINATIONS UNABLE TO CONDUCT EXAMS.
    HEALTH CARE TOTAL MESS.
    MEDICAL MAFIA OF DOCTORS AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES SUCKING THE
    BLOOD OF PATIENTS,WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF “MAITHREE-BAALA SIRISENA”
    AFTER RUINING PADDY CULTIVATION, MOVED ON TO RUINING HEALTH SERVICES.
    IN THIS SITUATION ONE HAS TO SEEK COMFORT IN RELIGION.
    THAT TOO IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE WOMEN SINCE SHE CAN GET MOLESTED
    WHEN SHE GOES TO THE TEMPLE UNDER THE VERY SHADOW OF THE STATUE.
    BODU BALA SENA SHOULD START CLEANING THEIR “CESS PIT” INSTEAD OF
    WORRYING ABOUT MUSLIMS MANNERS DRESS AND WHAT NOT!!!!!

  • 0
    0

    It is of course true and correct to say that this may be an isolated case, which has been reported which has captured the public eye. Some may even say, this is just a rotten egg in a sea of goodness in Buddhist philosophy. But daringly I ask, what has anyone done to address this crime, from the top or should I say highest to the lowest grass root level, to inquire, record statements and bring this culprit to book, or clear his name and book the lady for false allegations. Why is everyone sleeping on the job? or such emotional incidents swept under the carpet? Why, why, can anyone explain? What happened to justice and fairplay? Worse since both actors happened to be within the same community. If this lady happened to be a Muslim or Tamil, at least we can expect community to rise up and demand justice, But alas, we see that no one is willing to stretch out their necks for this lady victim. What is there in the Buddhist philosophy for such monk rapists as punitive measures? Nothing I presume. My premonition is that situation is bound to get worse, due to the lethargy and inaction, and very soon will experience another ‘Delhi gang rape’ style uprising in this country. After that ‘hands off our women’ and ‘respect women as human being not as sex objects’ and many more such placards will come out, but the culture will not be easy to eradicate in a hurry. So it is wiser to raise concern now. Wake up all you women folk, take matters to your hand, organize yourselves as a force to be rekonned with, not for equal terms as men (they are not created that way), but for juustice, faiplay, gender protection, respect, even handedness in the eyes of the law and such rights. Don;t expect much from women politicos since they will only sing for their supper to the tune of ‘Their Master’s Voice’.

  • 0
    0

    In reply to Mr Samarasekara

    Since you still do not believe this:

    When the victim was called to Gampola Police station on the 09th February 2012 for the inquiry, they were told that a young monk has made complaint to the police against the victim and the inquiry is not about her complaint. Further the chief monk has forced her to sign some documents which she has rejected.

    The Police officers refuses to take actin against the chief monk because he is the Adikarana Sanga Nayaka

  • 0
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    NO WONDER, BUDDHIST MONKS ARE MURDERED BY THEIR OWN BUDDHIST FOLLOWERS.
    THEN THERE WAS THE CASE OF “THE LUCKY SEVEN “BUDDHIST MONKS, STUNG BY
    HORNETS ALONG WITH STUDENTS AT DAHAM PAASALA. I WONDER WHETHER THEY WERE TEACHING OR ……..
    THEN THERE WAS THE CASE OF THE DEER WHICH WAS REARED IN A TEMPLE TURNING ON A MONK AND BUTTING HIM AND KILLING HIM.

    THIS IS DIVINE RETRIBUTION.

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