Govt helpless; Gnanasara “ill”

Govt. unable to defuse religious tensions: Anura Kumara

2017-05-24 22:09:00  Daily Mirror
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today the government had been unable to implement the law against those who incited religious and racial disharmony and urged the government to ensure that such incidents would not happen in the future.
He said if the government did not intervene to control these incidents, people would be compelled to take the law into their hands.

Mr. Dissanayake said there were attempts to provoke racial disharmony between Muslims and Sinhalese by extremist elements and that racism in any form was an obstruction to communal harmony. He said the government had created an environment conducive for communal clashes.
“The government has not taken any action against those involved in attacking Muslim religious places and no one has been arrested so far,” he said and added that a majority of Sinhalese and Muslims were against extremism. (Ajith Siriwardana)

Gnanasara Thera absent at the hearing of Contempt of Court case

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 – 16:45 Lakmal Sooriyagoda (Daily News) 
Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera was absent today for the court hearing on the allegation on offensive behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court amounting to Contempt of Court on January 25, last year.
The Court of Appeal Justices Rohini Walgama and Judge S.Thurairaja observed that the Court wanted the accused to be present in Court on next date.
However, Counsel Anusha Perusinghe appearing on behalf of Gnanasara Thera informing the Court that her client was not present since he is ill.
She undertook to produce the accused along with a medical certificate on the next hearing which was fixed for May 31.
This case is to be taken up for argument before a two-judge-bench comprising Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Preethi Padman Surasena on the next hearing date.
At a previous occasion, the Court of Appeal decided to overrule the preliminary objections raised by Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera against the amended charge sheet.
Former Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake referred this Contempt of Court action to the Court of Appeal since it was vested with powers to inquire such a complaint.
At a previous occasion, the Attorney General filed the amended charge sheet comprising four counts alleging that the accused had committed a punishable offence which comes under Article 105 of the constitution.
At a previous occasion, a charge sheet signed by Court of Appeal’s President Judge had been served on the accused. 
In a surprising turn of events, on January 25, Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. Later on, Gnanasara Thera was arrested by police on the charges of contempt of courts, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.
Through this contempt of Court action, the Homagama Magistrate has sought Appeal Court’s jurisdiction to consider whether the alleged offensive behaviour and utterance of Gnanasara Thera inside the Court amounts to Contempt of Court. He further sought Court’s jurisdiction to take necessary legal action against Gnanasara Thera if the charges levelled against him amounts to Contempt of Court.  
Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General.