The news directors attached to two private television channels were yesterday ordered to hand over unedited video footage to the police, to conduct further investigations into the alleged commotion made by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organistion, disrupting a media conference organised by the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) on April 9.
Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M.M. Sahabdeen ordered the news directors of Hiru TV and Swarnawahini to hand over the video footage recorded during the press conference held from 10am to 11.30pm at Hotel Nippon on April 9, with three copies for the Slave Island police.
Filing a fact report regarding the incident, the Slave Island Police told Court that they refrained from arresting the suspected Buddhist monks and other laymen as it could hamper the religious and ethnic harmony in the country.
Meanwhile, police further stated that the respondents were alleged to have committed a punishable offence which came under section 140, 146, 437, 446 and 486 of the Penal Code.
Lodging a complaint with Slave Island police, Ven. Vijitha Thera of Mahaweli Maha Viharaya in Divula Pelessa alleged that Buddhist monks belonging to the BBS, including its General Secretary Gnaanasara Thera, had stormed into the media conference and threatened him, and disrupted the pre-arranged programme. In his police complaint, the complainant has called for a police inquiry into the actions of the BBS members over the incident.
Meanwhile, Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera had told police that he had apologised in the presence of the BBS as he was under duress. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)