Monks surrender over Pepiliyana attack

Three Buddhist monks surrendered to the Mirihana police this evening over the attack on the Fashion Bug warehouse in Pepiliyana last week, police sources told the Colombo Gazette.

A monk who was seen on television throwing stones towards a CCTV camera at the store during the mob attack last week, while police officers stood there doing nothing, had also surrendered.

The three monks had been given time till this afternoon to surrender but they handed themselves over this evening, police sources added.

Meanwhile unconfirmed reports said that among the three monks who surrendered, was a member of the Bodu Bala Sena from the Panadura, Moratuwa area.

The police said that in all 17 suspects were now in custody over the attack and they are scheduled to be produced in court tomorrow.

Well over 500 people were involved in the attack, initially on a car sales center and then on the Fashion Bug warehouse next door at Pepiliyana, last Thursday night.

Army, police Special Task Force members and riot police had to be deployed to the area to bring the situation under control.

Over the weekend the police arrested six suspects in connection with the attack.

Following the incident the government had warned of attempts to create instability in Sri Lanka by stirring religious hatred among communities.

A statement by the government information department urged the public to exercise caution and avoid falling prey to rumors. The statement also said that both local and foreign elements were attempting to disturb the peace in Sri Lanka.

The government said attempts are also being made to harm Sri Lanka’s good image overseas.

The Bodu Bala Sena had meanwhile denied responsibility over the attack on Fashion Bug. Addressing the media last week the monks said that they condemn the incident and wanted the police to arrest those responsible. (Colombo Gazette)