June 14, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court on Thursday sentenced the extremist Buddhist monk Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero for six months in prison for threatening the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.
Homagama Magistrate Udesh Ranatunga last month convicted the General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization on two counts of harassing and intimidating Sandya Eknaligoda in the Homagama Magistrate Court premises.
The Magistrate sentenced the hardline Thero to two six-month terms of imprisonment to be served concurrently.
In addition, the Magistrate ordered Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara to pay a fine of Rs. 3000 and pay a compensation of Rs. 50,000 to Sandhya Ekneligoda.
The Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero was charged over statements he made during a court hearing in January 2016 when the habeas corpus case with regard to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was heard in the Homagama Magistrate court.
The case was filed by the Homagama Police on the 25th of January 2016 at the Homagama Magistrate Court charging the Thero of criminal harassment and criminal intimidation of a witness, Sandhya Ekneligoda.
This is the first time Gnanasara has been jailed, although he has previously been accused of hate crimes and anti-Muslim violence.