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SRI LANKA HIGH COMMISSION IN LONDON STRONGLY CONDEMNS ACTS OF VANDALISM AGAINST BUDDHIST TEMPLE

By Walter Jayawardhana

London’s Sri Lanka High Commission in a statement issued to the press, “strongly” condemned the “cowardly acts” of vandalism targeted against the Saddhatissa International Buddhist Center , in Kingsbury in London.

The statement said, “The High Commission firmly believes those who took part in this act of destruction do not believe in religious pluralism and tolerance which are basic tenants of liberal democracy today.”

The Buddhist monks in the temple said they suspect the crime had been committed by elements connected to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathizers in the area.

The following is the full statement issued by the High Commission: “ The Sri Lanka High Commission in London strongly condemns the cowardly acts of vandals who damaged the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury, London, which had taken place during the early hours of September 26, 2008.

“The Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre which was established in 1990 has been one of the Buddhist Centres of excellence in the United Kingdom not only propagating Buddhism but also actively engaged in various social, economic and spiritual services to the neighbourhood.

“The High Commission firmly believes those who took part in this act of destruction do not believe in religious pluralism and tolerance which are basic tenants of liberal democracy today.”

The Brent Press office of the metropolitan Police issuing another press release said that they were appealing to the public to help the police identify the criminals

The following is the full text of the release: “Police are appealing for witnesses after receiving reports of criminal damage to the Sri Sadahatissa International Buddhist temple, Kingsbury, NW9.

“On 26.9.08 approx 1.30 am. two males were seen near the temple, they smashed the front windows of the property and then two vehicles, which were parked on the driveway. Both offenders then made off in an unknown direction.

“Both suspects were wearing dark clothing.

“Any witnesses are asked to call Brent CID on 020 8733 3159 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”



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