Police continue search to arrest Gnanasara Thero – Minister

Minister Rajitha Senaratne

The Sri Lankan government said on Wednesday that the police were continuing search operations to hunt for a controversial Buddhist monk wanted for making alleged hate speeches and attacks against the minorities in the island country.

Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said according to information, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero, was in the country but was still in hiding.

“I do not know why there is a delay but police are continuing to search for him,” Senaratne said.

He added that there was an arrest warrant against the monk. Gnanasara Thero’s party is accused of instigating a recent wave of hate attacks against the country’s Muslim minority.

“He is wanted in connection with obstruction of justice, hate speech and several other crimes,” the police said in a statement recently.

His party, the BBS, said Gnanasara had gone into hiding fearing he could be assassinated. “The monk is at a secret location,” BBS spokesman Dilantha Vithanage told reporters in Colombo last week.

“We have told him not to venture out as he could be assassinated after he is arrested.”