Sri Lanka Sentences Buddhist Monk to 4 Years in Prison for Anti-Muslim Remarks

Gnanasara, known for his close association with Wirathu, an extremist monk from Myanmar, has faced allegations of instigating violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka

An firebrand Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka was sentenced to four years in jail by a court on March 28 for inciting sectarian hatred against the island’s minority Muslim community, AFP reported.

The Colombo High Court found Galagodaatte Gnanasara guilty of causing harm to Muslims by making derogatory remarks about Islam during a press conference in 2016.

A court official confirmed the verdict, stating that Gnanasara was also fined $330 and immediately taken into custody to serve his sentence.

MS Education Academy

Gnanasara, known for his close association with Wirathu, an extremist monk from Myanmar, has faced allegations of instigating violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka, where about 10% of the population follows Islam.

This is not the first time Gnanasara has been incarcerated. In 2018, he was sentenced to six years for intimidating the wife of a missing cartoonist and for contempt of court. However, he was released after nine months when former President Maithripala Sirisena granted him a pardon.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa later appointed Gnanasara to lead a panel tasked with recommending legal reforms to promote religious harmony, a move criticized by opposition lawmaker Shanakiyan Rasamanickam as ironic given Gnanasara’s history.

The sentencing of Gnanasara underscores ongoing tensions between religious communities in Sri Lanka and efforts to address issues of sectarianism and extremism.

Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *