March 17, 2013
The Sri Lankan government says the incident where a group of persons had attempted to assault a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka had received immediate attention at the highest levels of the Government of India and the state government of Tamil Nadu.
The External Affairs Ministry said that the police have registered a case in Ariyamangalam and have arrested 5 persons belonging to the MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and the NTK (Naam Tamilar Katchi) in connection with the incident.
The Buddhist monk, Ven Pathberiye Gnanaloka, came under attack while he was on a study tour at the Thanjavur Hindu Temple.
Ven Gnanaloka Thero who is pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology of India has been studying in India in New Delhi for the past 18 months and has visited several Indian states on study tour.
At the time of yesterday’s attack, Ven. Gnanaloka Thero had been with a group of 18 students comprising Indian, Myanmar and other nationals.
Ven. Gananloka Thero had not suffered any physical injury as a result of the attack. However, several Indian students who accompanied him had received injuries as a result of the attack, in their efforts to protect the priest.
The External Affairs Ministry said that the Ven. Gnanaloka Thero and the other students had been escorted to immediate safety at the police station by the police and arrangements had been made for all the students including Ven. Gnanaloka Thero to leave Thanjavur immediately and depart to the Trichy airport under police protection.
The Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner’s Office in Chennai and the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi made immediate arrangements for the safe return of Ven. Gnanaloka Thero to New Delhi last evening and he will continue with the course of study in New Delhi. (Colombo Gazette)