Jan 27, Galle: Sri Lanka police arrested 18 persons including 7 Buddhist monks and produced them in court today for their involvement in the attack on two Christian churches in the South.
The suspects surrendered to the Galle magistrate court as they were wanted for vandalizing the two prayer centers in the tourist town of Hikkaduwa in Galle district.
A monks-led mob attacked the Calvary Free Church and Assembly of God Church in Hikkaduwa on January 12 and damaged the property while threatening the residents. However, no one was hurt in the incident.
The attack was caught on video by media outlets and broadcast in the evening news. The police initially identified 24 persons through the video coverage of the attack and the court ordered the police to arrest the suspects.
Galle magistrate Gunendra Kumara Munasinghe released all the 18 suspects each on two personal surety bails of Rs. 500,000.
The case will be taken up for trial on March 17.
The rising religious intolerance from extremist Buddhist monks-led organizations in Sri Lanka rings alarm bells among the moderate public and civil society leaders warn of serious consequences if authorities fail to take adequate measures to curtail the violence the actions of these extremist groups.