June 25, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court today remanded the moderate Buddhist monk Watareka Vijitha Thero, who campaigned for religious harmony, for making false claims to the police that he was abducted and attacked.
Colombo Crime Division of Sri Lanka police today arrested the Thero as he was discharged from Colombo National Hospital where he was recuperating supposedly from self-inflicted injuries.
The Thero is accused of lodging a false complaint over the attack on him.
The monk who opposes the extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena made headlines recently when he was found by a roadside in Panadura, beaten and with cuts to his body. The monk claimed the Bodu Bala Sena was responsible for the attack on him.
However, suspicions arose during the police investigation since he had made contradictory statements on the series of events that occurred on the day he claimed he was abducted and the medical officers reported that his injuries were self-inflicted.
Upon further questioning Vijitha Thero admitted that he self-inflicted the injuries and got a relative to drop him by the roadside. Police questioned the relative who transported him to Panadura in his van.
Watareka Vijitha Thero was produced in Panadura Magistrate court today and the Magistrate remanded him until July 02.
Colombo Crime Division (CCD) did not oppose to granting bail to him but the Magistrate remanded him since the reports submitted by the CCD and Bandaragama police were contradictory.
The doctors at the Colombo National Hospital had referred the monk to a psychiatrist.
The monk was reportedly under pressure from the Bodu Bala Sena since he campaigned for religious harmony with Muslims.
He is a ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party member of Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha local government.