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Monks must adhere to laws in prison - Minister

Co-cabinet spokesman Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said President Maithripala Sirisena was speaking to the Mahanayakes regarding a Presidential pardon for Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara.

He however could not confirm whether this would materialise or not. Addressing the weekly media briefing at the Department of Government Information, Senaratne said the government could not go against the law of the country to make an exception for the Bodu Bala SenaGeneral Secretary.

“We cannot go against the decision of courts. This is the legal system of the country. He is not the first monk in this country to be jailed. Ven. Thalduve Somarama was jailed and sentenced to death for S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s murder and he went through the same process and S.B. Dissanayake was also imprisoned for two years for insulting court”.

He added that 18 religious leaders which included 15 Buddhist monks are in prison for various crimes today
The minister stated that all prisoners had to wear the jumper under the law. “No matter what the Sangha laws are, there is a law in the country which had to be adhered to,” he said.

“We will have to amend the Prisons Ordinance if we are to give them special preference, but under the current law it can’t be done”.

He also explained that the Attorney General’s Department had not received notice to appear in court when Ven. Gnanasara Thera’s appeal was taken up in court on Tuesday. The appeal had been postponed to June 22.

(Daily News)

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