Free Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero from Prison  and ask for his pardon.
Posted on February 2nd, 2019

By Charles S.Perera

Change of Regime in 2015 was for Sri Lanka  a march backwards from progress and development in  all aspects of life beginning from the elimination of a terrorism that lasted a thirty years of untold suffering  a nation could have faced.  Above all it was a backward  march from its Sinhala Buddhist historical past, its unique identity.

It was a paradox that the transition began by  a Buddhist monk Venerable Sobhitha thero. But once the change was initiated he did not live long enough to see the negative results coming from that change. The change came with a direct attack to Buddhism and  even today four years after the change, it is Buddhism that is still  being directly attacked.

Apart from the serious economic calamity the country faced with the government itself robbing its own Central Bank, the most negatively affected was its  legal system which has completely lost its Sri Lankan identity. Sri Lankan identity is first and foremost in its Sinhala Buddhist Culture and any direct or indirect attack of it changes the whole of what Sri Lanka is,  and if the people were to subscribe to that change we may as well call Sri Lanka hence forward Orumitta Nadu, and say good bye to the 2600 years of our historic past.

It is time at least now that we realise  the Independence from British colonial rule in  February,1948, was not regaining  our ancient values which were there before the country was colonised by  the Portuguese, then the Dutch  and finally the British. Though SWRD Bandaranaike was able to recover the ancient Sinhala national values, it was partial and Sri Lanka was never what it had been before the advent of the  Colonialists.

Seventy years after the end of colonialism, the administration, and the legal system did not change its colonial character. We have inherited a social class mentally imbibed with the colonial culture, which it values over and  above the  ancient Sinhala Buddhits culture we inherited from our forefathers. We were also impeded by Communal conflicts, from bringing  the country and the people to accept the  ancient Buddhist Cultural values including the Sinhala language we had sacrificed when we were forced  to accept foreign  values that came along with different colonial administrations beginning from 1505.

The result is that we are still slavishly and mentally bound to English colonial values , and that is very much seen in our  legal system where the Judges still wear the English Wig and Cloak and the lawyers the black  tie , coat and the black English Cloak.  For our Universities a convocation ceremony for passing out Graduates is incomplete  without  the black cloak and the mortarboard. With these values that still mark the social status and academic achievements ancient Buddhist values have taken a backseat.

It is in this background that we have to see the change that took place on the 19 January,2015 with Ranil Wickramasinghe swearing in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. That change pushed backwards the ancient pre-colonial values that SWRD Bandaranayake had tried to bring back, and Mahinda Rajapakse commenced to revitalise after eliminating 30 years of suffering under terrorism.

But with the change of regime in January,2015, the Colonial values have come back, while  ancient Buddhist values have been cast aboard. In 1956 SWRD initiated a change to get back the lost Sinhala Buddhist values, but he was snatched from the nation too early. Mahinda Rajapakse too helped to go a long way forward, but neither had he the time necessary  to bring changes to the Sri Lanka Legal System.

The white wigged black cloaked Speaker of the Parliament and the Judges sitting in  judgment with laws still fit for Colonial times , pay scant respect to ancient Buddhist Values  of Sri Lanka with which it was nurtured  for thousands of years,

The concept of every one is equal  before the law  now included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is followed to the letter by the very British white wigged judges in our  law courts. But in Sri Lanka a country marked by its  Sinhala Buddhist beginning there should have been a change in the rule of law at least with  regard to the offence of contempt of Court.

In the application of the law in Sri Lanka an exception should have been made to the Buddhist Clergy in view of the Constitutional protections  given to  Buddhism  which  is the religion which  was there before the advent of the believers of Hinduism , Christianism and Islamism.

For the Sinhala Buddhist who venerates the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, the Buddhist Monks are the third Jewel  after the Buddha and Dhamma. There is none equal to them. Therefore to hold them as criminals for a contempt of Court is an insult to the Buddha , Dhamma and Sangha the three jewels the Sinhala Buddhist majority hold sacred.

No layman has the right to accuse a Buddhist Monk for a Common Law Crime. If a Monk Commits a murder, he should first be reported to the Maha Sangha and disrobed by them before taken into Custody.   If a monk scolds” or  shouts” at some one in the precincts of a court, he has only spoken harsh words and it cannot be termed a crime and a Buddhist Monk should not be  remanded or imprisoned forcing him to disrobe, on that account as he cannot put in the position of a layman. A Buddhist Monk has all the right speak in defence of his country.

The Law should stand out side and allow the Maha Sangha to deal with an offence committed by a Buddhist monk. A Buddhist Monk in Sri Lanka should never be taken to custody by the police, and any accusation should be made before the representative of the Maha Sangha.

The persons present in a Court got up when the Bailiff called out them to do so historically because the Judge carried the Bible when entering the Court, – and he was the representative of the King or Queen.  It was also to respect the Court house where the judge holds out the law.   In Sri Lanka a Buddhist Monk is above any lay person, and if he does not stand up when a judge walks in  he is not being disrespectful.

Before the change of Regime in January,2015, there was at least one occasion when a Buddhist Monk Present in Court was held for contempt of Court for not having stood up when the Judge came into the Court. These are matters that should have been settled when Sri Lanka became independent and had to organise customs and ceremonies coming down from colonial days  to suit Sri Lanka’s own cultural background.

There is no necessity for a new Constitution to Sri Lanka now. We can continue with the  1978 Constitution,  but an amendment  should be prepare to ascertain the protection for the Buddha Dhamma Sangha to provide them immunity from Law, and making it a Criminal Charge to do any act that would be an insult to Buddha, such as  defacing or damaging Buddha Statues and harm the person of a Buddhist Monk by way of insults or assaults.

In the meantime Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Maha Thero should be released from imprisonment and  an apology should be tendered   to him on behalf of the Sinhala Buddhists for all the inconveniences caused  to him and for  desecrating the Buddha Dhamma and Sangha  through his imprisonment and forcing him to disrobe during the period of his imprisonment.

17 Responses to “Free Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero from Prison  and ask for his pardon.”

  1. Nimal Says:

    He is a convicted criminal and a disgrace to the great Buddhist religion and he should serve his sentence and be disrobed.

  2. Christie Says:

    I am no fan of Nanasara who was instrumental in installing this government along with Sobitha. India got rid of Sobitha with the help of Athul Keshap the Indian Parasite from USA.

    Nanasara has been sent to prison by the same lot.

    Even in USA the general prison term is about 10 years; that is for the worst case.

    He has served enough and he should be released.

  3. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THERE SHOULD BE A STRONG SENSE OF COMPASSION TOWARDS A BUDDHIST PRIEST, EVEN THOUGH HIS MENTAL FACULTIES HAVE MIS-GIUDED HIM IN WRONG DIRECTIONS. NO BUDDHIST SHOULD THROW STONES AT HIM. ***THE PRESIDENT BEING A BUDDHIST SHOULD USE HIS SENSE OF DESCRETION AS A BUDDHIST, AND SHOULD NOT WAIT TILL HE IS NUDGED TO PARDON THIS PRIEST.

    DO IT ! DO IT !! DO IT !!!

    **THE QUALITY OF MERCY IS NOT STRAINED, IT DROPPETH AS THE GENTLE RAIN FROM HEAVEN**
    {Merchant of Venice}

  4. jay-ran Says:

    From the time this Government headed by CHRISTIAN PM, came into power,THEY HAVE BEEN INSULTING AND HARASSING THE SINHAL BUSSHISTS & PRIESTS.EVEN THE RT,HON, MALCOM RANJITH PIYATHUMA OPENLY SAID THAT SRI LANKA IS A “BUDDHIST COUNTRY” AND THE DUE PLACE SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THAT!!!
    “BUT WHATS HAPPENING???”
    Every day we hear some harassment to a Buddhist or a Priest.This THERO MADE A REMARK POINTING AT THE JUDUCIARY FOR SOME FRUSTATION DEVELOPED BY HIM OWING TO SOME HARRASMENT.
    SO ITS THE DUTY OF THE JUDICIORY TO FIND THE REASON AND RESOLVE IT!!!!!
    NOW RW’s WIFE,CHRISTIAN WOMAN TOO HAS OPENLY SAID TO THE PRESIDENT SIRISENA,NOT TO PARDON THE “THERO”!
    SIRISENA_PRESIDENT! ACT IMMEDIATELY AND PARDON THE PRIEST IMMEDIATELY!!!
    IF NOT THE”DHITTA! DHAMMA!! VEDANEEYA!!! KARMA WILL COME INTO ACTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Dilrook Says:

    The venerable monk must be released.

    However the real deal here is the attempted release of Duminda Silva – a convicted criminal who must be punished for his crimes. He must not be released.

  6. Randeniyage Says:

    Sirisena, who his preventing Ranil from going to prison should have easily prevented Ganasara Thero sending to prison.

  7. Randeniyage Says:

    @Nimal,
    He is not a criminal. Ranil is a criminal. Sirisena is a criminal and many others.

  8. Nimal Says:

    No one should be above the law.

  9. Randeniyage Says:

    @Dilrook,
    Duminda’s release will buy a lot of votes for Sirisena, who too is a criminal , not even tried as many others in the parliament.

  10. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    I don’t think that RW’s wife is a Christian. She is a miss Bandaratilleke from Nawala Road, close to Koswatte junction. Her father was a Tall handsome guy. He was very smart in his Customs Uniform. They had a Sapodilla Tree right near the gate. During the season, the Tree is loaded with fruit. Mr. Bandaratilleke, who is a good friend of my father, never fails to bring us a BIG bag of Sapodilla. My ancestral home was adjacent to Park Lane. When her father used to take his beautiful daughters on a vacation, he never fails to come and ask my younger sister to join them. One beautiful family.

  11. aloy Says:

    I believe the venerable monk is a person with a nationalistic mind. He acted on the spur of the moment. The judiciary did not take that in to account and went by the book imposing the maximum penalty which is unusual. He should be released on a prez’s pardon; if not what is the meaning of national day?. The citizens should decide on what type of judiciary we should have at the next election.

  12. DR M D P DISSANAYAKE Says:

    Galaboda Aththe is similar to Sajith Premadasa. Always angry. Always create conflicts. This man is now convicted. He has a bad mouth just like Sajith. It is a shame we have buddhist monks like these, by covering themselves with a yellow robe, they can destroy the nation. They are not disciplined, how can he call himself a buddhist monk.

    Of Dasa Sil, how many he observe. He is not an asset for buddhism. He is not an asset for Sri Lanka. He is a total liability.

  13. Randeniyage Says:

    @MDP
    I have no choice but to agree with you on his character.
    But, he is in the jail and Sajith Premadasa is not.
    This is exactly why he should be released !

  14. Charles Says:

    MDP I am surprised with your comment. There had been Buddhist monks who rose up to the occasion when necessary such as Venerable Wariapola Sumangala. Who are the people who really go all out to defy those who attack Busddhism and the Sinhala ? In Sri Lanka the Sinhala are defenceless today When you find one person a Buddhist Priest or another who comes forward to say loud what others say silently he is condemned. As long as we are Buddhists we should accept the fact that we should not condemn a monk without understanding what his thoughts were when he took that action. Ven.Gnanasara spoke loud and said what was necessary to be said. But he was not a Criminal.

    For me he is a great asset to Sri Lanka today.

  15. Dilrook Says:

    There is difference of opinion on this. I’m surprised.

    Major Ajith Prasanna (Pohottuwa) doesn’t want him released!

    “https://www.facebook.com/UnpMilano/videos/2174361286160818/”

    Strange the Ranaviru Protection Organization does not demand the President to release those war heroes on Independence Day. Why? Because if they are released these people will not have a slogan! They want those war heroes to remain in prison so they can fool voters.

  16. Randeniyage Says:

    @Dilrook
    Our people forget everything easily and only remember their favorite politician’s name.

    Do you remember it was JO ( led by Vasudeva) who said Ven. Gnanasara is also behind Kandy riots ? They were happy to put him in jail.
    He should be released because whatever he spoke at the court house was to the face of the judge. Judge could fully defend himself when he talked. Definitely it is not a case of insulting the judiciary. It was insulting the government and CID action only. He was not fighting for himself but against the jailing of people of armed forces.
    Of course his argument was wrong because ALL criminals should be punished. But so many big name criminals not even charged, why should only he ( who did not do any crime) should remain there ?
    It is the same thing against Mahason Balakaya. They did not do anything wrong but jailed because JO also wanted them jailed. I am sure Mahinda doesn’t want him in jail, but he too is silent on this unfortunately.

  17. Dilrook Says:

    It gets even more interesting as those who want the venerable monk in jail want Duminda Silva released!

    Ajith’s argument is not correct. If Gotabaya contests he will anyway not get any significant Tamil or Muslim votes, BBS or not. Gotabaya will have to rely solely on Sinhala votes to win the election. It makes Sinhalese kingmakers.

    We must demand the abrogation of 13A, etc. using this power. The nation has survived traitors, foreign subjugation for over 440 years, etc. and it will survive no matter who rules. A good ruler can reverse a few years’ damage easily. However, taking Sinhala voters for cattle or doormats cannot be tolerated any more.

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